I held you when you took your first breaths.
I fed you & clothed you & showed your beauty off to anyone who would look.
I saw your first smile.
I heard your first words.
I memorized your laugh.
I watched you learn to crawl, then walk, & eventually run.
I witnessed you learning to read & write.
I watched you grow strong & happy & healthy.
I watched you suffer illness & pain & heartache.
I have had a VIP pass and a front row seat to your whole life thus far.
I have been your manager, your boss, your coach & your cheerleader.
I have raised you to be strong & independent, and yet you have always allowed me the blessing of holding you up when you have been weak.
I have loved you with my whole heart & you have loved me back.
I have felt it.
You have been my best friend & my strongest supporter.
You have been my confidant & my biggest fan.
I would know your laugh, your voice & the sound your feet make coming down the stairs apart from anyone else’s.
I have prepared you to embrace adulthood & live a big, full life.
And now, we are literally days from packing you up to start that life.
I have loved you from your conception. I have always told you I would be here for you no matter what. I have always been, & always will be, right by your side in a moment’s notice.
But now, before you leave, there are a few other things I want you to know.
Do you know that I have needed you as much as you have needed me? That when you took your first breath, I inhaled differently…almost as if for the first time??
Do you know that when I fed you & clothed you, my soul was fed & my heart was wrapped in a blanket of love & contentment???
Do you know that now, all these years later, your smile fills my heart just as much as it did the first time I saw it???
Do you know that the sound of your voice, even when it’s frustrated or harsh or angry still makes me well up with all kinds of feelings??
Do you know how happy I am that I have memorized the sound of your laugh?? Do you know how often I do & will replay that sound in my mind when I am apart from you because it is one of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard???
Do you know that when I watched you crawl & then walk, all I wanted was to see you run???? Do you know that now, before you leave, all I can think about is how much I wish I could slow you down?
I need you to know that my love has always been, & always will be, unconditional.
I will be here when you are strong & happy & healthy.
I will hold you when you suffer illness & pain & heartache.
I will always buy the VIP pass for the front row seat to your life & although I may no longer totally be your manager or your boss, I will always be your coach & your cheerleader.
You will never be even one mile too far away from my love.
You will never call at the wrong time or need me when it is inconvenient. You will never be alone. I will always be here. Maybe a little more in the background, but still always here.
Do not ever settle for mediocrity.
Do not ever allow someone’s disrespect or dislike for you to change the person you are.
Not everyone will love you & that’s okay.
Don’t imitate or copy others.
You were born unique.
I love you far beyond any of these words.
Our worlds are about to change, but my love for you is constant.
You have my blessing for it all.
I love you forever and beyond.
And so there is that.