Why I will write a letter to my daughter on
her birthday every year
Eva is not a one year old anymore. She is now two and a half going on twenty and those baby days seem like a life time ago already. I decided soon after she was born I wanted to write letters to her for her to read when she was older but life always seems to get in the way and time is short. So I have promised myself as a minimum to write a letter to my daughter on her birthday every year until I decide to give her them all as a heartfelt gift. I’m not sure yet if that will be on her eighteenth birthday, on her wedding day or maybe when she gives birth to her first child. I would like to and will try to write more for both children, when they achieve great things, learn from failures, when we have our first arguments and they find their first loves. I want to document every second I can find time for. This is the letter I wrote for her first birthday. I printed a copy out to put in her letter box.
Dear baby Eva,
I cannot believe a whole year has passed by. In many ways, it seems like only yesterday you were a tiny new born baby, dependent on me for everything and yet in other ways it seems like you have been with us forever. So many of my memories from before you was born seem to have edited you into them like you have always been here with us.
What can I tell you about our journey so far?
I have experienced tiredness and exhaustion on levels I didn’t think could sustain human life. I once asked my friend if you could die from sleep deprivation. She assured me you cannot.
You have triggered emotions in me I rarely experienced pre Eva, Pre Eva and post Eva being the only terminology for time now. No Eva is just unimaginable. Stress and anxiety plague me daily, I can lay awake worrying about every aspect of your life, wellbeing and general safety. The current scenario keeping me awake at night is the worry of my beautiful teenage daughter meeting someone from the wrong side of the tracks (to put it politely) what if they lead you a stray, take advantage, encourage you to partake in dangerous activities, alcohol or drug abuse. I literally lay awake playing different scenes out in my head trying to work out my parenting style. Usually the result is me dragging you home and locking you in the house for the rest of your life to keep you safe. I have years to work on a better strategy although I can’t make any promises of a more rational approach.
I battle with the daily frustration and identity crisis of being two people, your mum and me. I sit feeding you, dressing you, bathing you, playing with you and loving you whilst making mental lists of all things I could be doing, creative projects to start, housework to complete and friends to catch up with. But I regularly crawl into bed at the end of the day too exhausted to tick even one off the list and so the next day an even bigger mental to do list is created.
My hobbies have changed since your arrival. I can still watch and enjoy a film, although now it is usually over several weeks in small chunks. The beauty being I am so tired I will forget I have even watched it leaving me the opportunity to enjoy it all over again. I can still go out shopping. It now involves squeezing a trip in in-between naps, Usually I find nothing, complain about my new shape, get hot and bothered and feel guilty for dragging you around the shops so we head to some children’s shops and I buy new clothes for you which is equally satisfying and eases my mum guilt which is another new and unusual emotion.
I would not change one moment since you arrived and became my favourite person on this planet. Whilst this last year has not always been easy it has been the most incredible journey I have ever been on. I have grown in so many ways and get pleasure every second I am in your presence, watching you learn, develop and grow.
I wonder where your life will be when you read this letter. What achievements you have succeeded in, what failures you have learnt from and what type of person you have blossomed into.
I watch you now and try to guess where your interests and talents lie. Your sense of rhythm and enjoyment for music is already apparent. Your first favourite toy was a maraca and you can’t help but shake your hips and clap your hands when you hear music. You have a kind heart and a clear love for animals, getting excited if you see a neigh neigh, quack quack or dog dog. You definitely have your daddy’s intelligence and my creative flare has certainly been passed down to you. You have an obsession with pencils, crayons and pens and love to sit making scribbles on paper.
You basically have the potential to be so many things my beautiful baby Eva but what I really want for you is to be happy, to be kind and to be confident. These three things will get you anywhere you choose to go in life. Surround yourself with great friends and your life will be full.
I hope when you are reading this that the grown up you still loves me, that we are still best friends. I hope you are enjoying life and achieving all the things you dreamt about when you was little. I hope I have helped shape your future for the better by teaching you valuable life lessons, love and kindness. If this is not the case and your life is not where you want it to be, if you have taken the wrong path or got into difficulties just know that it is not too late to change it. I hope you still feel you can come to me with problems but again if this is not the case I am reaching out to you now. You are and always will be my Boo Boo, my baby and no matter what has happened I am still here to help you, guide you, teach you and love you.
I love you more than any words could describe and look forward to and dread in equal measures the day you read this letter.
All my love