The other day I pulled out the camera because I was admiring her outfit.
And loving the combinations of colors and patterns.
And thinking about how lovely it is to be unconstrained by social norms or messages, how she can just be herself, how she wears stuff because she likes it.
Then, last night, I was tickling her while getting her in her jammies.
She was laughing so hard, and I was kneeling over her, snuggling my face into her neck.
Tickle, tickle, tickle under her chin.
We've had a bit of a breakthrough the past few days, beginning when Little Miss announced to me that she wanted to wear underwear to bed like the boys.
So, we tried it, and it's working.
So -- amidst the tickling, and while thinking about her not wearing diapers at night now -- I asked, "Why are you such a big girl?"
(Prompting, of course, the response that she's not wearing diapers EVER now.)
(I should learn to stop prompting responses in my head. Remember the last time I did that?)
And she stopped my heart for just a second when she said,
"Because I'm growing up."
Yes, she is.
I want to tell you about some of my wishes for you.
When you get big, please let yourself still be you.
Wear the bright colors if that is you.
Say what you know is right and let the chips fall.
Be okay with who you are, and appreciate the OTHERness of others.
There is great, deep beauty in all of us.
I believe this so strongly.
Disregard the loud messages that try to force and persuade you to believe that you need to be this or have that or look like this or reach that status to be worthwhile.
The irony is that none of those things bring happiness anyway.
I wish for you, a thousand times, the wisdom to perceive this, and to let it govern your heart.
One of the greatest blessings of motherhood is feeling deep down into your soul the worth of another.
I wish I could capture that for you, that truth,
and that you would never doubt it someday, down the road,
maybe when you're a teenager and start wondering
how you match up, how you compare.
(Blast that ugly word!)
Or when the dream that you want isn't what is popular or what will be viewed as socially acceptable or as something worthwhile.
The beauty inside of you is crazy strong, it's almost deafening when I'm with you.
And I love it so much.
And when you stopped my heart by saying you're growing up, it's only because I know it's true.
I love you.