She is trusting and brave. Strong-willed and independent. Joy-filled and free. Beautiful both inside and out. She is everything my heart has prayed for year after year. She is a miracle, my miracle, and somehow, even at only (almost) 2 years old, she makes me want to be the best version of myself. To quote Martina McBride, “I see who I want to be, in my daughter’s eyes.”
I won’t ever forget the day her sweet little body was laid on mine and our crystal blue eyes locked for the first time. My heart burst into a million pieces knowing that not only had a forever dream of mine come true, but it was better than I could have ever even imagined. At that moment, there was a tinier version of myself in the world, one who even from the moment she was born looked up to me, both literally and figuratively. I get to be her first role model, the one who gets the privilege of teaching her, both simple things like pat-a-cake and ABC’s, as well as the more complex parts of life, like how to navigate heartbreak and what self-worth and confidence look like. What a huge task, but also equally such an honor.
She watches me get ready for the day, which sometimes looks like changing out of pajamas, slipping into leggings, and throwing my hair in a messy bun. Other days it’s a dress, make-up, earrings, and double-checking myself in the mirror before going about the day. Every move I make, my precious girl watches. She grabs my jewelry I leave out and runs up to me saying “pretty, pretty” (Which at this point in life comes out sounding more like “pitty pitty.” But, we’ll let that slide for now. Ha!) She is a sponge, constantly learning and growing, and I am, most days, the liquid she is around wanting to soak up. Nothing will open your eyes more than to see those moments first hand.
When I met my little girl that rainy April day, I was prepared to be her teacher, her safe place, and the one who protects her.
What I was not prepared for was the opposite. How much this sassy smaller version of myself would teach me, how much her delight in even the simplest things would be like a physical sunbeam shining on the dark parts of my day, and how every single time, without fail, when I look at her, there is this inherent desire to be better, and also at the same time embrace the real and raw version of myself. Her eyes reflect everything about me and what more motivation is there than that.
I want her to grow up knowing that she is full of life, and brings light to every room she walks in. That she is confident and more than capable of doing anything she sets her little heart out to do. That beauty goes far deeper than the skin, and that her worth is not determined by any other person. And more than anything that she is strong, and that she is more than enough, just as she is.
These are traits that at 2 years old, she already has and believes (to the best of her ability). My job as her Mom is to keep encouraging them though. To be the mirror that she deserves. The world will try to compete. Oh, will it try to compete! But, I hope more than anything that her tender (and sometimes spicy) little self will stare up at me, lock eyes, and know that I’ve got her. Because that is exactly how I feel when I see those precious baby blues.
She makes me want to be brave and face challenges head-on, without fear for the future. To embrace the goofy side and have silly dance parties. To look inward for my worth and value. And to know that I am enough just as I am, every single day. That reflection in her eyes is one that I strive to be proud of because my heart knows how much the little girl before me deserves that.