You aren't ready to hear this; some of it you won’t understand because you’re nine. Much of life is impossible to understand. It won’t get easier, it will get harder. It’s important to me to say this to you now.
Right now you think I’m the funniest, smartest, most beautiful woman in all the world. Part of you will always think that. Someday part of you will want me to shut up more than you’ve ever wanted anything in your entire life. Part of you will be in awe at how seemingly together I have it when you are falling apart. Part of you will hate me. Part of you will see me as a failure and part of you will see me as the real deal. Part of you will always want to curl up in the triangle that exists between my elbow, my chin and my breast….the first spot you were ever held in; you will feel like this until the moment you take your last breath. Sometimes you will feel these things at the same time and it will confuse you; I know this because I am a daughter too. Good bad or ugly I will be the standard to which you hold yourself for your entire time on this Earth. You will be your own people, you will make your own mistakes, you will go off on your own, you will have staggering successes, you will run back to my arms and somehow, no matter what happens your sense of self will be forever entangled with mine.
I want to tell you something that my mom didn’t say to me until after she died….I want to tell you now when you’re little. I want you to know it every moment of your life. My mom felt it, she thought it, but I wish she would have said it sooner.
You are exactly enough.
What you are today, what you were yesterday, what you will be tomorrow and the next day and the next day after that is exactly enough. You are enough on the days when you’re emotionally throwing yourself on the ground like an over-tired toddler and on the days when you are high on the fumes of your personal accomplishments; on both of these days you are just perfect.
I want you to know what I knew growing up; that if I needed my mom she would be there. I will be there. I’m not just a mom, I have a life. I have people and things that are important to me that have nothing to do with you but when you need me I will be there for you. I won’t always be perfect, I will say the wrong things and do the wrong things but from the time I read the little positive sign on the pregnancy test I have always tried to do the right thing for you. Sometimes I’ll screw up, sometimes I’ll get mad, sometimes you will. We will fight, we will rage and we will figure it out. I promise that I will respect you even when I want to strangle you. I hope you will do the same.
I want you to know that I will be okay with who you are at the core of your being. I am okay with who you love; boys, girls….it does not matter. I will be okay if you want to work at McDonald’s for your whole life; if it is what you are called to do, if it gives you joy, then it is okay with me. Even if your sister and brother are world renowned brain surgeons and you want to join the circus, I will be okay. I promise I will figure out a way to be okay with who you are even if who you are is a Republican.
I want you to know that I will always be with you. I am serious. Nothing will separate me from you; not time, not space, not death. My mom is with me every second of every day and I will be with you. You will carry me with you everywhere you go, you cannot get rid of me, you cannot lose me. I am part of you and you are the very best of me.
I want you to know that every single day I love you more. Every day I like you more. I watch who you are becoming and I am floored that I have front row seats to this amazing show. You are an amazing, beautiful, kind person. This letter is to both of you; you are sisters, you are identical twins, you share a lot….you share me. But I see you both as people. I see who each of you are and I do not compare you. You both hold equal but separate space in my heart with your brother. It is not possible for you to understand the depth of my love for you until you have your own children but I love each of you with every fiber of my being. Happy 9th birthday Grace Lilly and Olivia Rose, it is absolutely my pleasure and honor to know you.
You are exactly enough.