It’s been a difficult road for us. From the day you were born, you gave us a hint as to what to expect. Our first year was the roughest of my life. Every year thereafter, things got easier, but by no means easy.
You have always been difficult. I now know, you always will be.
It’s just taking me these years to adapt to having a high-needs child. Letting go of the preconceived notions that I would enjoy motherhood wasn’t easy for me. And, I owe you an apology for that.
You see, no one prepared me for this. I had unrealistic expectations that babies were easy. Not in such a way that I believed raising babies wasn’t going to be a lot of work. But that they slept in the car, would sleep well at night, and as long as you could make them laugh, they’d stop crying.
Raising you was nothing like I’d pictured. Further, no one quite understood the extent of your difficult nature. How could they? They didn’t live with us. But, no one ever acted as though a high-needs baby was a thing.
I can assure you, it is, without a doubt a thing.
Still, I’m learning to focus on the positive. And I have a lot of work to do on that front.
You continue to teach me things. Parenting you will always be a challenge. You will require me to seek out ways to cope, handle you, and still try to enjoy our moments.
But, as much as you teach me about parenting and myself, this isn’t all about me.
You’re turning 6 and I want you to know a few things.
To my daughter, as you turn 6:
You are bright! From the time you were a baby, I saw you react to things differently than I’d ever seen in other babies. As a toddler, I had to keep you busy learning about the world, providing you activities to expand your mind. You needed constant education! It was exhausting, but teaching you has always been pretty easy.
You are perceptive! As you watched people and things, those around you were quite aware that you were taking it all in. Your observations made it easy for me to speak to you in terms I now realize wasn’t as easy for others your age to comprehend. These concepts weren’t always simple, but speaking to you about them was.
You’re capable of so much! Though you like to wait to display your abilities until you feel you’ve mastered them, you always surprise me with what you can do. My hope is that you always continue trying new things regardless of how you feel about them initially. You’re naturally artistically inclined, but you’ve shown interest in soccer which has required more practice. Always practice becoming better at anything and everything you desire!
You’re a great big sister! You hadn’t initially been keen on having a new baby at home. Still, you became a loving and entertaining big sister. I’m impressed by your ability to make your baby brother laugh. He adores and looks up to you. It’s my hope you always take him under your wings. Continue to teach him to be a good person by displaying your good qualities.
You are persistent! Don’t let your hopes and desires fade away. I know over the years you’re going to recognize you may not always get what your heart desires in the moment. But always know that good things come to those who wait. Growing up will be hard, but keeping your persistent spirit as an adult will help you succeed.
Your smile and laugh are infectious! As your first soccer coach stated, you bring joy to those around you. You have fun and love to make people laugh. Though the poop jokes can be over-abundant, people enjoy your presence. Always try to be a good friend and bring joy to other’s lives. And for the love of God, please stop trying to laugh like the other kids in your class.
Stay true to yourself! You’re special, talented, and unique. Your natural interests in dinosaurs, jeeps, motorcycles, and some of the typical girl stuff sets you apart from others. Never let stereotypes control who you become. Be yourself and always do what you love … your happiness in life will depend on it.
We love you. I know we’ve had a difficult time adjusting to life after adding your baby brother to the mix. But, I hope you know we’re always thinking about your feelings and hope you know how much we love you!
To my daughter, as you turn 6
I seriously suck at being your parent sometimes, but I’m always trying to work on being a good mom. We’ve struggled through challenges, but we’ve also had some really great times together.
I hope you know I’ve tried really hard to strike a balance between making you happy while still being a responsible parent. It’s my hope that I’m able to teach you all the things you need to know about being a responsible, productive, and kind human being. Though, many days I’ve simply hoped to make it through the days with sanity.
I always want the best for you and sometimes the best comes by way of struggling with not simply giving you what you want, rather teaching you to earn it.
Sure, you won’t really appreciate it right now, but I hope you do when you grow up.
I’m proud of you and I love you!