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Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Letter to my Daughter and Future BFF

All - my mother pointed out to me that it was unfair that I had written letters to both Nico (Son) and John (Husband). So I am writing a letter to my Daughter who has obviously been very traumatized by this (NOT). It's long. Warning you in advance. She makes me wordy, what can I say?

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Dear Shaila,

I know that one day you and I are going to be the best of friends.

Shaila and Grandpa (John's Dad)

You're going to be comfortable enough when you are a teenager to tell me about the cute guy in your AP Calculus class (aim high, daughter! Math is your friend!).

You'll ask my advice about what colleges to apply to and will be on board with applying early to a decently priced State University - hopefully my own Alma Mater, University of Virginia. (That is where that AP Calculus class will come in handy, girlfriend).

You'll take me with you to pick out a wedding gown when you finally meet Mr. Right and I will make sure that I help you pick a dress that makes you look as beautiful as you should be on your wedding day. I PROMISE not to pick some pouffy cake topper concoction. Unless, ummm . . . that's what you want.

I'll even be ok if you pick this. Just get me a stiff drink first, ok?

I'm wiping a tear as I write this. Because I really hope you don't want the pouffy dress.

The point is, I am going to be cool like that.

But right now, you are two and half and I would say that we are both still feeling each other out. Trying . . . hmm. . . to get to know each other a little better every day. Maybe even testing one another at times to see how much we can get the other to bend.

Maybe, I said. In actuality, I know what your agenda is, sweetheart. Don't think I don't know.

Since I was pregnant with you, Shaila, you had the ability to take my breath away.

No, seriously - not in the figurative sense. I mean, you literally took my breath away. I couldn't breathe most of my pregnancy and had fainting spells that made me look like a total freak. One minute I would be fine telling a bad joke to a colleague and the next minute, I would be on the floor.

Blackout.

Drooling and everything. Even having mild seizures on the more exciting faints. It was NOT pretty.

The Doctors said it may have been something about the way you were pressing against my spinal cord. But I think (again, these are words of someone with NO medical degree) that YOU were starting to test me already. You're a tough cookie, Missy. And one does not just become a tough cookie of your stature overnight.

It takes dedication which I believe you wholeheartedly committed yourself to in utero.

The other day, you gave your mother a pep talk. I think that's really amazing. That a 2 1/2 year old child is giving her thirty-something mother a pep talk.

It went something like this.

You, your father, Nico and I were on 95 packed up in the Honda Pilot, praying to make it to NJ in less that five hours. Which was really just very stupid of us to expect.

Instead it took us THREE HOURS to get to Baltimore from DC. Forty miles in THREE FREAKING HOURS. Nobody, including yours truly, was happy.

So you had a moment of your own road rage (one of forty or fifty). I know, I understand. What is up with those non-E-ZPass drivers trying to ride our lane to the very end before doing a lane switcheroo? That kind of stuff makes me mad too.

In your rage, you threw your Paci (pacifier) on the floor.

We need to break you of this. In the mean time, it's a nifty Mute Button.

I would normally pick it up and try to get it as clean as possible before handing it back to you. But in between you and me was Nico in his ginormous infant car seat. He had finally just nodded off and I wanted him to get some sleep.

But you were mad. You were incensed. So you started yelling, "I dropped my paci! I need my paci!" at the TOP OF YOUR LUNGS which was a lot of fun for everyone else in the car. Daddy was so happy he started giving me high fives and Nico started cooing and giggling after being woken from his nap.

No. It didn't work that way.

Daddy looked at me in the rearview mirror and said, "Can you get the paci?"
"How long do you think my arms are? Honestly? Am I a new Long Armed Super Hero or something?" I looked at him incredulously.
"I just need her to stop yelling. This whole drive is stressing me out. Please see if you can get it?" he pleaded.

Fine.

So I stand up and try to bend my body over Nico's infant car seat without waking him up and try to reach on the floor to where you were sitting.

"Go Mommy! You CAN DO IT!! Yay!! Mommy's getting my Paci!"

Under different circumstances, that might be cute but the fact that you THREW it there made this whole adventure bittersweet. And it was making my back hurt.

"Yay Mommy! You can DO IT! You can DO IT!"
"Shaila, I can't reach it, you threw it too far."
"Mommy, then you just need to try harder! If you try, you can DO IT!"

And then you gave me the double thumbs up.

It was very surreal. Suffice to say, I could not reach your Paci because Mommy is not Gumby. Nico woke up. Daddy looked like he was going to run the car off the road.

And then you puked.

Everywhere.

That was a fun trip. Really, really fun.

Shaila, while that trip was the furthest thing from the good times I believe we will have with you throughout the course of our lives together, it still says something when you think about what I remember most, above everything else. What I remember MOST (above the thrown paci, the yelling, the smell of your puke all over the car - yes - even more than that) was your beautiful smile and voice when you said, "You can do it!"

And yes, I know you were manipulating the living daylights out of me at the time.

But it makes me realize how much fun we are going to have.

(That is, when we are not driving each other crazy).

I love you, Daughter. May your spirit, which I know will cause me many a sleepless night, always be as vibrant, full of life and effervescent as it is today.

We need to work on a few things - both of us - but you're pretty perfect to me.


Love,
Mommy

18 comments:

Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

awww. That was so sweet. Can you write a letter to my daughter, too? Thanks.

AJ said...

sniff. That was touching. In a really "oh my gosh, you talk to your kids like that too?! I thought I was the only one!"

:) Thanks

Shell said...

That is so sweet! You can do it, mom!

I hope you do become best friends.

That last pic is precious.

lacochran said...

Your recounting the trip was hysterical! And the fact that she is encouraging you shows tremendous emotional intelligence. Look out for this one! :)

Glennon said...

beautiful. real. profound. LOVED IT.

Lemon Gloria said...

"...and then you puked." I kind of love this moment in the story. I know you two will be BFFs. Who wouldn't want to be your BFF?

Theta Mom said...

OMG, I loved this! And yes, you'll be cool like that, for whatever comes your way!

Beth said...

What an awesome letter!

Two thumbs up!

Sarah said...

This is so lovely! And such a lovely idea.
What a sweet pic at the end, by the way!

Kate@And Then I Was a Mom said...

Wonderful post--one I bet you'll be really, really glad you wrote, for a long time to come.

Vivianne's Vista said...

This was an awesome letter to your adorable daughter! I love your blog, I had to become a follower to come back.

lumuhuku said...

This is one of the sweetest saccharine coated post, I have ever come across.
Amazing & damn cute. :-)

The Glamorous WAHM said...

Okay so, I'm thinkin' that you've gotten enough of the "oh that's so sweet." comments and I'm here to keep it real. =) It looks like you're going to have your hands full with this little one. And your letter is a prelude to the days of when you will be tortured by her as a teenager. Well at least that's what I'm perceiving. However, don't lose hope girl! My 2nd daughter drove me completely insane as a toddler. She never talked in a normal voice. She screamed everything. She is now 12, a straight "A" student, and a real joy to talk to. She's still stubborn as all get out, but at least she doesn't torture me anymore. =)

Masala Chica said...

Ha ha. Thanks guys. Yes - I could see a part of it that is sweet. But I have to laugh at the comment from WAHM and keeping it real. Yes - I would say that your daughter and mine sound like they might be made from the same mold. I am hopeful on the torture part ;-)

Kiran

Anna See said...

I love this!
I am currently hiding in my office b/c my daughter turned into something out of the Exorcist when I tried to help her with her math. She didn't like the VOICE I was using.

Kristen Staples said...

Your letter really resonates with me as my very spirited, stubborn, smart daughter has tested me like this since she was in utero as well...and now she is 13!! It does not get much easier, I hate to tell you. But, there are those occasions like the one you had here, where you see that one day you will be great together when you don't have to be her mom, and you can be more of a peer. Kiran, your writing is incredibly interesting! Great work!

Caroline said...

I write "Letters to the Bitlet." Every month since she was born and on special occasions. I hope to have them bound one day as a gift to her. I love the fact that you wrote your daughter a letter.

kys said...

I love the double thumbs up! My youngest used to pull that crap with the paci throwing. I got fed up when he did it one too many times and threw it in the trash can at Capt. D's. (We were having lunch at the time. Cuz we're klassy.)

 

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