Tuesday, September 06, 2011

A Letter to Rebecca

Dear Rebecca, I could tell by the way you held my hand that you were excited and I could see in your eyes that you were a little scared about getting on the bus this morning for your first day of kindergarten. I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you for being so brave and facing the obstacles that have been placed before you, in your life, with such unyielding determination. As I hugged you and watched your bus drive away I instantly missed you and reflected on our times together as I walked back up the street to the house.

The memories didn’t come crashing down but rather swept gently past, they were uplifting instilling in me a sense of calmness. I remembered when I sat with you on the steps of the pool as we both inched our way in, a little each day, until you got your head wet, you were cautious but determined and once you realized we were in the water together and the pool was safe you embraced the lessons and became a great swimmer and comfortable in the water. You would look for me every few minutes, initially,and we would wave to each other during your gymnastics classes when I ran my laps above the gymnasium . I steadied your bike and ran alongside you as you worked hard to maintain your balance after removing your training wheels. You enjoyed the challenges of testing new waters and I enjoyed sharing them with you. We held each other during thunderstorms and laughed together as we read bedtime stories.

Being a parent to you has been so rewarding to me. You taught me patience and a new way to enjoy each day. I very clearly recall the first time I saw you and the minute we made eye contact. I dedicated my life to insuring that you would be safe and happy to the best of my abilities and now for the first time in your short life I will not be cheering you on during your next milestone of when you get off the bus at the other end. I cant be there to brush way the tears when someone is mean to you or hug you when you get frightened or give you reassurance if you become surrounded by the feeling of being alone. I know if someone pushes you that you will turn the other cheek. You will be quick to share your snack if someone asks you to or if you notice someone does not have one because that is who you are. You’re a good soul, Rebecca, and part of me (right now) wishes I had taught you to stand up for yourself more and not take what this “less than perfect world” we live in has in store for you. As I sit here and say the world you are entering is imperfect I realize the imperfections I have as a parent. If I were perfect I would not be worried because I would have prepared you better for Kindergarten and the new world that awaits you. This is the first new experience in your life in which I will not be part of and sadly for me it will be the first of many. From this point on I will become less important in your life. I tried to prepare you for this day but this was a milestone that I was never looking forward to.

You were always cautious but determined when it came to swimming, walking the balance beam or riding a bike for the first time and I want to let you know that I will always try to be there for you when you fall. Your teacher may not always notice you when you do good and there will be kids who will be mean to you but your inner essence is good, you have tolerance and natural understanding for others and that will always prevail with you and help preserve your inner spirit long into your adult life.
Stay cautious, Rebecca, check the depth of the water, the height of the balance beam and the steadiness of your bike… hold on to me a little longer, as needed, ask advice and share your worries and I will be there for you and we can talk every day. There is plenty of time to grow up and gain independence but for now, just for today I want to be selfish, I don’t want you to grow up even a little bit. I want you to come home the same way you left for school today, I want to be the center of your life for just one more day