“You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.” ~ Davis & Mitchell
Dear daughter, I know that you’re looking to see yourself in me.
But in truth, I am sorry that you are so much like me.
I’m sorry that I gave you a heart stronger than a thousand warriors, because it will take you years to learn that not everyone loves like you do. It’s a hard lesson, and its scars gleam from you never giving up on what you truly desire.
There are moments that I look at you in this beautiful world and see you mesmerized by the simple brilliance of life unfolding. In these moments, my heart splits open a little bit wider for you.
I see your innocence and desire to help others, and I wonder when it will be that you first feel the sting of being used. I wonder if your faith will be tested in the world or if you will hold onto to your generosity against those who only know how to take.
I’m sorry that you see only the good in everyone.
Childhood is about seeing everything with wonder. You look around, and there is no evil, no danger lurking around hidden corners. It’s inconceivable that the greatest pains you will ever encounter will be at the hands of those you love the most.
I wish that I could instill all of my lessons into your warm heart, but I know that you need to learn on your own. I can spend days with you in the sunshine telling you life’s truths, but in the end my experiences won’t necessarily become yours.
I’m sorry that you feel everything as deeply as you do.
There are caverns inside of your soul that ache to feel everything that this life has to offer. I can see the way that you feel compassion for strangers, and how you sometimes just stop to look at me as if I hung the stars in the sky. I can see the way that you are brimming with the ability to feel the world around you and with it, all of the heartache and passion it can offer.
You might have moments where you wish that this wasn’t so, and while I’m sorry that I have given this quality to you, in time I hope you see that it is truly a gift, not a burden.
Many parents delight when their children exhibit the same qualities that they have, but in my heart I secretly send you a thousand sweet apologies, because even though one day I know you’ll gain strength from these attributes, I also know that the pain they can inflict could tear you in two.
And so, while I am sorry that you are so much like me, I also couldn’t be more proud of you.
I see the way that you forgive everyone around you with such a delicate tenacity, and how you already have learned to stick up for yourself and your needs. I see the way that you’re already so much smarter than I was, so much better equipped to handle the ways of the world, and in those instances, I know that there is no doubt you will one day learn how to use your wings.
While I may not be perfect, I am precisely the mother you need.
I may have given you my giant heart and sensitive soul, but I am giving you my strength too, so that even on the darkest nights, you will know you can get through anything life may toss your way. And I will always be there, too.
You are my little warrior princess, my fairy, and most of all, my heart.
I know that you have heartbreak ahead of you, but I also know that you will change the world simply by loving how you do. You have a gift of lighting up the room just by being yourself; my only hope is that you won’t let any encounter change that.
As you grow older, the world will begin to tell you that magic doesn’t exist, and while I know that you may have your faith tested, I hope that you continue to wish on falling stars and believe in all that is unseen in this world.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” ~ Roald Dahl
I’m sorry that you are so much like me, but only because I know how hard this world will try to change you and at times break you. But more than anything else, I love you more than there are stars in the sky.
So, while one day you may strive to show how different you are from me, there is no doubt—nor has there ever been—that you, my sweet warrior girl, are my daughter.
And I couldn’t be more proud of that fact.
Author: Kate Rose
Image: Author’s own; Richard Jaimes/Unsplash
Editor: Callie Rushton