When my oldest daughter, Rylee Brianna, went to school for the first time there were a lot of tears. From me. She was totally cool with the situation. There is a quote I’ve heard that goes, “Motherhood: The days are long and the years are short,” and it certainly applies to my family life. The wait was so long from the ultrasound until the delivery day, but then I blinked and she was getting her backpack on.
This is a letter I wrote to my daughter excerpted from my memoir, She’s Losing It, to be released in the coming months. The book is about how I lost 50 pounds and worked through my midlife crisis by entering a bodybuilding competition (because when you’re middle aged and borderline obese is there really a better time to enter a bikini competition?). While learning to let go of the weight I also had to let go of my fears, one of them was facing the fact that my babies were growing up. I wrote this the night before her first day of school. If you like it, please share on FB and Twitter.
Tonight I tuck you into bed, your last night as my baby. Your face is sweet and clean and innocent, unmarked yet by the world to come. Tonight I am the most important person in your life. Tonight you have only known unconditional love. Tonight you believe in fairies and stare in simple wonderment at the world that surrounds you.
Good night, my sweet baby.
Tomorrow you will wake a little girl. You will walk to your first day of school bravely, in your pretty pink dress and blond little curls and the world will enter in.
Tomorrow your friends become more prevalent in your life. But don’t ever forget that the most important voice to listen to is your own.
Tomorrow you will learn that relationships are conditional and can be won and lost with speed; and sometimes you have no say in the matter.
Tomorrow you will learn the truth about fairies and you’ll wonder why I lied. Until you have your own children and will want that magic to reappear.
And in not so many tomorrows you’ll realize that I’m lame and don’t know what I’m talking about. But don’t worry, in your mid-twenties I’ll seem pretty smart again. When you have your own kids, trust me, I’ll seem brilliant.
Tomorrow you’ll have your heart broken by some boy and I’ll try to just listen and console. Your father will try to shoot him with a gun. But don’t worry, I’m pretty sure it will only be a warning shot. (I’m pretty sure about that.)
Tomorrow you will break some other boy’s heart. Please be kind and let him down easy. He is some other mother’s son.
Tomorrow you will greet the world as your own person. Remember the lessons that I’ve taught you. Remember that I will always love you. And know that even when you are 100, you will always be my sweet baby.
Good morning, little girl!
Now go make your mark on it.
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