The first time I held you in my arms I thanked God. The warmth of your cheek to mine as tears fell from my eyes in awe of the beauty and fragility God blessed us with. We are connected, mother and child, a bond no one can break. I am a better woman because you are my daughter. God gave you to us as a miraculous and priceless gift.
From the first cry to the first step, I watch in wonder of your ability to learn, adapt, and overcome life's challenges. At first it is the ability to manipulate your arms and legs together for movement, then to open and investigate the object you reach, and finally the joy of accomplishment. As a toddler you didn't realize that learning to crawl would be a great feat yet not the biggest one God has for you. As parents we cheer, hug, and share your newest feat. There is no better way to let you know how proud I am of you but to hug you and say, "Great job! This is only the beginning."
But then we have to let you go and you started school. The tears of realization on our faces are hidden so your ear-to-ear smile of joy can shine. While away at school we trust you learn to read, write, and love to learn. States mandate you go to school for an academic education but as a parent, school is the building block of the foundation laid at home before you even crossed their threshold. I pray you remember the basics, based on love, and apply them to the new relationships and friendships you are exposed to in the school setting.
Elementary school transitions to the junior high. The "ugly duckling" years of school in my opinion. In spite of the awkwardness and changes, you blossomed into the young lady God designed you to be. The challenges are different yet still accomplishments to cheer for and celebrate. With each new friendship you learn to appreciate the gift this truly is. As you begin to figure out who you are, my heart melts with pride and joy for the young woman you are growing to be. You don't see the beauty behind your smile yet. I do. Your building blocks to overcome stress and discourse are built. You are ready.
Oh my, high school! As you put into practice all we have taught you and all you learned in the past fourteen or so years is amazing. High school is not easy. It isn't a Hallmark movie but an after-school special. I, too, had dreams of glorious friendships and movie-like dances. Some might experience this lime-light but I pray you have a similar experience as I. Some of my best friendships were formed in high school. Our trips to the mall transitioned into coffee and conversation while our children play in the other room. I pray you form these same friendships. Don't go looking for them, the best ones find you. God doesn't want you searching for friends, He will bless you with just the right one when you are ready to receive this gift. Don't be in a hurry to grow up ~ cherish these four years and absorb all you can learn so you can apply it to the next step in your walk on earth.
High school graduation requires you to take a step forward in the direction of adulthood. To some, you are an adult, and this is correct but remember you are always my little girl. No matter how old or wise you think you might be, as your mother, you are the little girl starting kindergarten but taller and different things to learn and experience. You may go to college, join the military, or whatever God has for you but one thing will always remain, you are my daughter.
In the adult years you learn a lot of what "mom said..." was really true. I still remember thanking my Mom for some of the same "No"s that made me storm to my bedroom in earlier years. I pray, as an adult, you reflect and realize the love I had for you. This love is only magnified and multiplied. As you marry and start a family of your own, there will be parts of you captured in the eyes of your children and the look of love in your husband's eyes. Life will still bring you challenges but with God and all you learned as the foundation, success and joy are in your future. Don't let money, disease, or any other stress triggers of life get you down.
When you don't think you can handle one more thing, look up. Your Heavenly Father is always there for you and when the tears flow, I, your Mom, will hold you while you cry. I love you my sweet daughter. May we always be close and God always be your lead with me as your guide. I love you sweet daughter.