To my first-born, the child who not only made me a mom, but made me more human than I have ever been. Like Superman has kryptonite, I have you. You show me my weaknesses, build on my strength, and teach me something every single day. I love you, and just in case you ever wonder what I really feel for you, here is a letter written from me to my wonder child, forever out there for you to find.
This is my way of documenting you, sharing you with the world, because that is how extraordinarily big you are – you will become a beacon, of hope and love and acceptance.
Today, 6 years ago, you came into this world SCREAMING. You made yourself known, announced yourself without any shame, timidity, or smallness. That was the first clue. I was terrified, but also so very excited. You were our first-born, the child that will make us a family, that will make me a mom. I looked forward to your birth for 37 weeks, and here you were.
With you, it has never been plain sailing. You have never been a difficult child, just a unique child. You see things differently, you feel intensely, and you think about everything. You get excited about the smallest things, then miss the most obvious ones. It feels like you never sit still, and then all of a sudden as if you will never move again.
For the first 18 months you didn’t sleep. Not exaggerating, we went from expert to expert to help us to help you get some sleep. It was exhausting, I think for you even more than for us. Life was just too interesting for you to shut down, and who could really blame you? After a long battle, numerous strategies and many many prayers, we figured you out. As I said, not a difficult child, just very specific.
We went through the terrible twos without any tantrums. You were a dream. By this time you had a younger sister, and you were a champ. You just wanted to hold her, make sure she is ok. To this day, this is what you do. You make sure everyone around you is ok. If someone gets hurt? You are there first, you are the one holding their hand, calling for help.
Alina, you are a wonder child. You see the world not as it is, but as it could be. You look at everything with eyes wide open, seeing the cracks not as imperfections but as opportunities. You ask questions. Sometimes they make me uncomfortable, but you never allow me to shy away. You face the answers, even when they make you sad. And then you ask how you can change it. Not content with simply accepting, you are out to change the world.
You have taught me all about forgiveness, but also about accountability. To be soft but not a pushover. To demand attention.
My baby girl, you have grown up so fast. 6 years ago, you were this tiny little life in my hands. Today, I am this heart in yours. You hold my life in your hands. You are everything that most girls dream of – beautiful, smart, athletic, fun, with a great sense of humour. You take chances, you make mistakes, you cry. You scream. You laugh. You are perfect. And you are my perfect. I am privileged to call you mine. And I hope that I will forever be everything that you need me to be.
Keep teaching me, keep learning, keep being you. Because you are awesome, you are enough, and you are cherished.
Love you always and forever.