Dearest Mermaid Daughter #1,
It is nearly your six month birthday.
When you were a Little Mermaid, dancing in my womb, I thought to myself:
I will write to my daughter every month. I will tell her how she is growing and changing. I will tell her how much I love her. Yes, every month.
And I smiled and nodded to myself. It was a fine plan.
And then, beautiful girl, you were born into the world.
And it was the biggest, most wonderful day of my life.
And every day since then, I think to myself:
Yes, I will write that letter to her. I will tell her about the day she first smiled. The day her cord fell off. The day she first grasped. The day she first started gurgling. The day she outgrew infant nappies. The day she first held her head up. The day she only woke up once during the night. The day she recognised her Daddy, and wobbled her body with such joy when he came home.
And all the days since. You, the most exquisite thousand petalled lotus flower.
Every day, you grow, you change.
Every day, a new petal of you unfurls and blooms.
Every day, you amaze us.
Every day, we talk about you in hushed, glowing words to each other:
Just look at her honey. Look what she can do now.
You are the applest apple of our eye.
But as for those letters… those letters each month to you?
They are not written down on paper, or in text.
They are only written down in my heart, in my hands, in my shoulders, in my eyes.
My hands have been filled with you, my heart encompassed by you. My shoulders have carried you everywhere we’ve gone. My eyes seek yours out.
I am filled by you and surrounded by you and doing anything outside of caring for you can get beyond me.
But the honest part?
I could have found the time to write the letters.
But what on earth could I have said?
How could I even possibly find the words to tell you just how much I adore you, and how my life is changed because of you?
Everything sounds too contrite and rehearsed, when I so long to be able to lay bare just how deep, wide and heart-naked my love is for you.
People ask me if I love being a mama.
And I say:
I don’t think of it like that. All I really feel is that I really, really love Mermaid Daughter #1 and I want to be with her as much as possible.
I think you are the funniest, wisest, most loving person I have ever met.
Your smile lights up rooms and universes, especially the rooms and universes inside me.
I can’t possibly think of my life before I knew you.
I think of when you were still swimming inside me, and how you used to roll your back against my hand. And I think:
That was her. My strong, sweet, wise, funny, radiant girl.
Every day, when we are walking up the street, you in my Ergo right next to my heart, people will stop to see you.
And they’ll say:
What a beautiful, beautiful baby! Just look at those big blue eyes!
And I’ll sigh happily and say:
Yes, she is a sweetheart.
And they’ll say:
Oh, is she a good baby? That’s good! We want good babies!
And I’ll get a little furrow on my brow, and I’ll try to explain that ALL babies are good. Even ones that cry a lot, or wake up a lot, or need extra love and help in this world to feel comfortable.
But I stumble over my words.
I don’t know how to tell the world that all babies are utterly lovable and are truly good. That they are worthy of unconditional love, kindness and respect… just as each soul on this planet is.
Instead, I just love you. I try to show the world instead of telling them.
I don’t want you to misread my words of course. Because you don’t cry a lot at all. And you are pretty ding dang happy with life, especially if you are in your mama’s arms. And because I sleep with you in the crook of my arm, I barely register how many times you wake up in the night to feed.
But none of those things are about you being a good baby or not.
I guess what I am trying to say my darling daughter…
Is that you do not have to do one thing in this world to be good. You already are. It is what is inside you. It is what you were born from: the brightest, most shining white light I have seen or known.
So, over and over dearest, beyond the days of new tasks mastered, and new developments created, and new skills discovered… I want you to know you are good. You are loved with every fibre of my being. That you are safe to be who you are. That I trust you, and love you.
And that every day I get to spend with you is better than any day spent with Quan Yin or Buddha.
Thank you for letting me be your mama.
Thank you for cupping my face in your hands, and gazing into my eyes with exquisite love.
Thank you for the gift of you – over and over.
Happy nearly-six month birthday my darling daughter.
I am honoured and blessed and beyond proud to be in your life, and to love you with all I have.