A letter to my second grade daughter

Dearest Maria:

I still have to pinch myself to believe that you are already 7 years old and entering second grade. I have such a poor memory when it comes to people’s names or what I did last weekend but I remember every moment of your birth like it was happening now. You have planted your darling self front and center in my mind, and I am so appreciative. It allows me to easily go back to that Monday morning when I rose from bed and pulled up those running shorts and ran to the gym. I was so proud to be pregnant with a baby girl. All my gym rat buddies would stare at me in amazement as I lifted barbells and did squats around the perimeter of the floor.

“You are going to give birth to one big muscle” they would say.

And I did. You came out working those lungs and wiggling around making the nurses struggle to wrap you up. When they placed you in my arms, I looked down at you and there were those big black granite eyes looking right back at me. I felt you speaking to me before you could even say a word.

And now I watch you ride huge horses with complete confidence. I hear you talk to your little brother with such tenderness. I try to keep up with you as you peddle with such ease on your bike. I sit back and enjoy the eggs and bacon you cook for me some mornings. I watch you looking at yourself in the mirror as you brush your hair. And I think to myself “She is absolutely radiant.”

I hope you think the same.

Lately you have been commenting to me that you wish you had prettier hair or looked better in your clothes. I immediately respond to such nonsense by affirming your absolute all-around beauty and then tickling you madly (I think you continue to state such craziness sometimes just to be tickled and roll around on the bed with your mom!). I will make it a priority to keep you real and grounded this school year – to make you see how important it is to let go of such superficial concerns and just enjoy life – be silly and random and adventure-bound with tangled hair or not.

You are a gem to me and so many others (your dad being at the top of the list). Enjoy second grade my little pumpkin seed from heaven. I love you ferociously.



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