Posted in Letters
letters to our daughters | august 2014
August 26th, 2014

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

-E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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Lillian & Eliot,

Let’s talk about friendship. What it means to be a friend. What it means to have a friend.

Friendship, true and deep and lasting friendship, does not come easy, nor does it come naturally. It is not second nature to make yourself vulnerable. And, friendship is vulnerability. It is a series of leaps and hopes and prayers until the leaps and hopes and prayers become so second nature that you don’t hold your breath anymore. Vulnerability becomes second nature. In friendship you are set free.

At your age, friendship is easy, yet complicated, fickle, yet forever. Does this make sense? In a single afternoon, you will make friends with children who were formerly strangers while “de-friending” each other and your very best friends. You will worry that a best friend will never be your friend again and lament that you “don’t have any friends!” A minute will pass and you are off – friends again and all is well with the world. These are still simple times, and hurt feelings never last long. As you grow older, this will change. You will no doubt have your heart broken by friendship. Even as I write this, I remember vividly the pain of that. But, it is necessary. And it will stretch you in ways that you can’t imagine. And, you will be better for it. Trust me on this. It gets better.

You will learn from the friendships you form, even those that don’t last. You will find parts of yourselves in others, while discovering that some things are non-negotiable. In this way, you will, hopefully, learn to be flexible while still remaining centered and strong. You will learn the value of loyalty and the blessing in reveling in another’s joy. You will most likely feel the sting of betrayal, and the shame in betraying. Through this, you will discover the importance of grace extended and accepted. You will learn that friendship is both give and take, and some friendships are lifelong while others are meant only for a season.

Your friends will influence you mightily. As a mother, this is something that frightens me a bit. But, I am confident that you will navigate the waters of friendship (and the world!) just fine. You will, I hope, always have each other (and always count one another as a friend). Once you are my age, you may very well look back and remember the different stages of your life in the stories of your friendships. I know I do. I am intensely grateful for each and every good friendship I have had. To say that they were varied is an understatement. But, all of the really good ones had common threads. Kindness. Reciprocity of vulnerability. Loyalty. Laughter. Generosity in forgiveness. True presence and a willingness to show up again and again and again. And, my current friendships, they are sacred. They are everything.

Right now, your best friends – Ruby and June – are the daughters of my best friend. And, your friendship is important to us. We want the four of you to grow up together and to grow into a beautiful friendship. That is our hope. But, if it turns out today or tomorrow that you don’t like each other, not even a little bit, you will have to get over it. Because, she is completely essential to my life. And, I believe she feels the same way about me. That, my girls, is friendship.

Always and forever wishing you God’s peace,

Your Mom

* I am so honored to have joined this 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 Stephanie Tueller. Read her letter here. And, if you feel so moved, do leave some love in the form of a comment. *

Letters to Our Daughters | July 2014
July 17th, 2014

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”  ― Jack Kerouac

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Lillian,

Lately, you have been climbing trees. You seem to enjoy the challenge and the adventure. I enjoy watching you. The ascent is always interesting, but it is what happens at the top of your climb that I love the most. You perch there peacefully taking in the view from the top. In this way you are in your own little world while still remaining a confident observer of this world. I love watching you watch the world.

If you were to take a look at the images above, you would certainly comment on the fact that you weren’t very high up in this particular tree. I am sorry that I’m not sharing your best work. But, my dear, these images reach right into my heart for some reason. They are so you. And, they are so me. I have climbed so many trees in my life. Can you believe that? I once considered myself quite the treetop adventurer. I have the faintest memory of what that felt like – being perched at the top of the world. It was exhilarating and affirming. Can you feel it? I think you can.

Your life is a challenge and an adventure. Every day. Rejoice in it. Always lean forward to that next crazy venture.

Always and forever wishing you God’s peace,

Your Mom

 

* 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 Jill Cassara. Read her letter here. And, if you feel so moved, do leave some love in the form of a comment. *

Letters to Our Daughters | June 2014
June 12th, 2014

* 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 Jill Cassara. Read her letter here. And, if you feel so moved, do leave some love in the form of a comment. *

“Don’t leave. Stay with me.”

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Eliot.

Tonight you lay on my chest and drifted off to sleep. This is your favorite way to end the day. Lately, you need a lot of affirmation. You seek contact. You want comfort. You long for familiarity. “Don’t leave. Stay with me,” you ask. And, it can be in equal parts endearing and frustrating depending upon the situation. But, tonight, as I waited for your breathing to slow and grow heavy and constant in sleep, all I wanted to do was stay. And, sitting here, I realize that I too need affirmation. I too seek contact. I too want comfort. I too long for familiarity. I understand, my girl. And, I will stay.

Always and forever wishing you God’s peace.

Your Mom

Find the next letter in our circle here.