I cannot believe my baby will be graduating 8th grade tomorrow. I look back and I just keep seeing her as this chubby little “Eskimo baby” (as I called her) that I gave birth to on June 17, 1998. It can’t be true…she cannot be ready to graduate and enter high school. As I sat going through pictures for this post, I must admit…I started to cry. Hormones? I doubt it. I received her graduation memo yesterday explaining the do’s and don’ts of the ceremony and I got teary eyed. Really? It was just a simple piece of paper, but that piece of paper confirmed that this graduation ceremony is really happening. With all my efforts to keep her little…she grew up anyway…ugh, kids…always doing what we don’t want them to do!!!
I was given a task to write a letter to my daughter (that I admittedly waited to the very last moment to write it) and I must say, in my rush, I didn’t get to say all I really wanted to say, which is prompting this post. It’s funny though because we’ve talked so much at length that I know she is fully aware of all I am about to say but just in case she ever doubts how I feel about her, this will be something that can always be there to reaffirm my love and feelings for her.
I honestly do not know where my life would be if I didn’t have her. After I got married we decided pretty quick that we wanted to start a family. I remember the day I found out I was pregnant, I was so excited and there were so many feelings that I couldn’t possibly explain. They say the first trimester is the scariest and it definitely was. I found out at 12 weeks that my first baby didn’t make it. It was the hardest thing I ever heard in my life. It was the hardest thing I have ever experienced in my life. I was in the process of a miscarriage…I had to deliver a fetus. The doctor didn’t do a D&C, no I had to sit there and experience the worst pain in my life. I wouldn’t have wished that upon anyone. It was all explained to me that it just wasn’t “meant to be”. I took it for what it was worth. I survived and attempted to get pregnant again. I got pregnant right away…and lost it…again, right away. The second time I wasn’t as far along but it still didn’t survive. The third attempt…was just that…another failed attempt…and another miscarriage. At this point I was beside myself. I felt like a total failure. How can I not have a baby…that is what women do…they have babies! After many tests, it was discovered that my progesterone levels dropped dramatically when I became pregnant and that is why I kept miscarrying. My doctor immediately started me on progesterone suppositories and I was at it again…attempting it for the forth time. At that time I just needed a break. Steve and I took a much needed vacation *with all my baby making tools* in tow and we headed to Disney World. Well surprisingly, Disney World is definitely a MAGICAL place! We came back from vacation and was tested two weeks later…POSITIVE!!! However, I was not out of the woods… I had a lot of meds to take, a lot of documentation to do and a LOT of praying. I was so anxious that I think I was in the doctors office every other week for an ultrasound just to make sure the heart was still beating. It was. Every time … it was beating. I watched my baby grow and I always said she was my miracle baby. She was sent to me at a time that I needed her most. I know you are probably thinking, geeze this is the longest story ever, but there is a method to my madness.
I always thought that having a child would be this amazing experience. I thought I would teach my child so many things about life and living and as it turns out, she has taught me so much more about life and living than I would have ever guessed possible. She was always an easy baby, slept through the night at 4 weeks, ate well, was always happy and smiling, had a full head of hair that somehow always looked like it was perfectly styled, always had a passion for fashion, loved to play dress up and do all things girly, nail polish galore, loved her books and her “Softy” bear, her little pink blanket, and she had a love for animals that reminded me of the interaction between Snow White and all the forest creatures. She was instantly the light of my life. She instantly became my best friend. I always vowed to be open and honest with anything that she came to me with. She knew from the start that she could always come to me with anything. I would never judge or push any of my own personal opinions on her. She has without a doubt grown up to become this amazing young woman that I could never be more proud of. Yes, we are in the teen years and yes, the mood swings are great… however, putting that aside, she is the most responsible, most giving, nurturing, supportive, and most positive young lady, daughter and big sister that you will ever want to meet.
Alyssa, you have this big bright future ahead of you and I want you to know that no matter what stands in your way, you are so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. You can tackle anything if you really want it, you just has to believe enough in yourself to make those things your reality. High school is going to be tough. There isn’t any person on Earth that high school was easy for. There are social issues to contend with, different clique’s…more so in high school than in middle school. Kids can be cruel and you will see the cruelest of the cruel, but I want you to always be true to yourself, and if something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. You know that no matter what, you can always count on me to have your back. We have experienced so much together just dealing with middle school and I know that you are at an age where you will start to gravitate towards your friends for advice and some will be good…others not so good, but if you are ever in doubt, you know that I am here for you and that much of what you are, or will be going through, I have lived through too. While times have changed a lot since I was in high school, you may think, it’s much harder, but I assure you…the feelings are all the same at the end of the day.
Being a parent to a teen-ager is hard for us too. We have to watch as this little tiny bundle grows up and ultimately leaves us to live their own lives. It’s hard to know that at some point, we have to pull away and let you go off on your own and experience your own experiences. You will have ups and downs, you will meet people that will remain in your life forever, you will learn how to drive, go to parties, go off to college, and you will love someone enough to want to spend the rest of your life with. Look, I am already sending you off to get married… the point being, life goes by so quickly and as your mom, I just want to hold you and keep you safe from all the bad things the world has out there, but I know I can’t. I know that I have to let you put yourself out there…let you do things that I may not necessarily agree with…watch you make mistakes…and ultimately watch you grow into an adult with the hopes that what I have taught you will be carried with you…forever. I am so proud of the young woman you have become so far and I can’t wait to see you walk across that stage tomorrow because I will see this as another chapter in our relationship coming to an end while another chapter begins. You have made me the proudest mom and I love you with all my heart. You are my sunshine, you are my miracle, you are the little soul that chose me to be your mom and I thank you! <3