*I am so honored to join a group of talented photographers in documenting our journeys as mothers to our daughters through letters and accompanying imagery. Next in our circle of Letters is the talented Joy of Joy Alice Photography. Read her letter here. And, if you feel so moved, do leave some love in the form of a comment.*
“Dear God,” she prayed, “let me be something every minute of every hour of my life. Let me be gay; let me be sad. Let me be cold; let me be warm. Let me be hungry…have too much to eat. Let me be ragged or well dressed. Let me be sincere – be deceitful. Let me be truthful; let me be a liar. Let me be honorable and let me sin. Only let me be something every blessed minute. And when I sleep, let me dream all the time so that not one little piece of living is ever lost.” – Betty Smith
My dear. My little one. You are alive. You are a walking talking dancing crying running screaming sleeping eating example of a life lived fully. You are a force. I know that time may change how you interact with the world, but, for now, you are drinking it in. Even in moments of stillness, you seem to be purposefully living. Man alive, does that intrigue and excite me.
This morning you climbed into bed with me for morning “knuckles” and wrapped your plump little arms around me with such deliberateness. Every time it happens I find myself wondering at your motivation in these moments. I believe you know what a gift that time is to me. You hold me close and let me breathe you in, and we melt together – for those moments reunited.
You feel things – deeply. You are in love with us, your family. And, I often see a hint of peacemaker within you. You think of your sister immediately when anything is given to you. For every “prize” placed in hand you request the same so that you may take it “for sister.” When kisses and hugs and goodbyes are given and said at the door in the early morning hours it is you who reminds us all to be generous with our affection so that each family member may go into the day with shown love. You are a light. You are a reminder of all that is good. You are so often my happy place.
But, you are also prone, these days, to fits of rage the likes of which I have no experience with. When they happen I find myself praying for patience and for grace. And, when they pass, I find myself realizing that you are my patience and my grace.
You are trying to find your way in this world. You are figuring out who you are in relation to us. You are pushing and pulling and loving and drawing us near. This is just the beginning.
You are dynamic. You love to laugh and have just made up your first joke. It goes like this. Knock knock. Who’s there? Poopie. And, then, laughter. You and your sister have the same sense of humor I see.
You have moved past simply putting words to things and are now putting words to thoughts. I never cease to be amazed and amused. You shove us out of the bathroom seeking “privs,” leave a room with your head hung down and saying a long and pathetic “goodbyyyyeee,” demand “be nice to me,” exclaim “what the heck?,” and deliver resentful “finnnnneees” when we don’t cater to your every whim. You are something.
You love food, especially berries and satsumas. Taking off clothes is one of your favorite pastimes, which means that you are often in a state of undress. Babies are your thing. You are constantly carrying one, asking for one, pointing one out or pretending to be one. You read and love being read to. You climb in and out of your crib with ease. We sing songs at night, and you love to sing during the day. You randomly belt out “Jolene,” and a myriad of liturgically based songs. You are precious.
I think often about what I want to teach you. Self-discipline. Humility. Love. Confidence. Service. Fun. Generosity of spirit. So much. More than anything, my dear, I want you to continue to live. Be vulnerable. Be frightened. Be inspired. Be in love. Be mystified. Be enthusiastic. Be alive. Just be. Just be. Just be.
Always and forever wishing you God’s peace.
*Find the next Letter in our circle here.*