Sunday, May 13, 2012

Your Papa bought you a rose bush for your first Valentine's Day,
but Mama doesn't have the greenest thumb, so I promptly killed it.
Sorry about that.
02.14.2012  11:37 A.M.

Today is your first Valentine's Day. As a teenager and even as a little girl, I remember getting 'valentines', bears, candy, heart shaped balloons - all of the commercial Valentine's day things. I was genuinely excited to receive those for the longest time, but as I've gotten older I prefer reflection, family traditions, and handwritten letters over mass produced throwaway gifts. We've been on this journey of living more simply for quite a while now. Your Papa and I have always been fairly simple people. Neither of us require a lot to be happy, but one day we looked at each other and decided then and there that we were going to continuously try to live a more simple life, year after year. So we no longer buy greeting cards - we write handwritten letters. We no longer buy stuffed animals (mainly because I've grown out of that phase). When you're a little girl, I plan on making your dolls and animals. Something about button eyes and an imperfect stitch makes me nostalgic. We no longer fight the crowds to celebrate a holiday with a fancy dinner, we go to our nearest diner and enjoy a milkshake together. People are surprised by this - they're surprised that I don't demand flowers, chocolate, jewelry, and expensive dates. The fact that I prefer a family diner date and a simple house plant seems to almost offend people, but I don't mind. I'm not celebrating me. I'm celebrating love, but not solely your Papa and I's love. You're a part of this love now too. You expanded our love for each other tenfold, so it only seems right that we include you in our celebration each year.

A few days ago I looked at your Papa and tried to explain to him how it made me feel when other people said they love you. I thought he would call me crazy, but he agreed. I think there are different kinds of love and different definitions of love, so I wish a different word existed to describe what we feel for you. When someone who has met you once says, "Oh, I just love her," or something to that effect, it bothers me. I want to say, "Love? That's what I feel for her. I felt her being created from the inside. I brought her into this world. Only I have looked into those eyes every morning and night. Only I have felt her pain as deeply as I have, as she would scream inconsolably from colic. I feel an overwhelming amount of love for her, but you? You don't even know her." (Lord help me when a man comes along some day, claiming to love you. I'm sure it will terrify me and bring these emotions to life once again.) I don't take the use of love lightly when it comes to you. I say it uncountable times every day, but I mean it more each time. When I whisper those words to you, gratitude and adoration pour out with them. I'm convinced that love isn't a singular emotion. As it flows from my mouth, many more come along with it, swirling out and winding themselves around it. It's like my soul accompanies those words as they resonate off your ears.

In the years to come, you will hear me say 'I love you,' every day. I hope you can believe me each time, no matter the circumstances. I wish that I could raise you, having never lost my patience, raised my voice, hurt your feelings, or ignored you when you needed me the most, but I know I'm imperfect and will make these mistakes. I'm only at the beginning of this journey, but I can already tell that the love between a mother and daughter is a world changing kind of love. You will be an extension of me, a legacy left in this world. What I am, you will most likely become. If I am bitter, you will be bitter. If I am joyful and passionate about life, you will be joyful and passionate about life. If I express gratefulness for the smallest things, so will you. Realizing this has humbled me and has already made me a better version of myself. Because of this great love I have for you, I've vowed to continue this journey of self evaluation. Each day I hope to wake up more patient, more positive, more focused and able to distinguish what matters the most, more loving, more of everything you need in a mother. Oh, Ev, please let me be the mother you deserve, and when I falter, please hug me back anyway.

All the Love in the Universe,


Route 66 Diner on Central here in Albuquerque.
2:49 P.M.


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