My most inquisitive little minion you are. Gosh, you keep me on my toes with all of your questions. Some of them are easier to answer ("How come you make meatloaf all the time?"), others - the ones that make me sigh the loudest - are a bit more difficult ("Why do you get to stay up and watch tv when we have to go to bed?"). But tonight, on the eve of your first day of kindergarten, I have a few questions for you, young lady - let's see how you like being on the receiving end.
How does time fly so quickly? One day Ashton, when you're a big girl (a grown up one with boobies - as you constantly remind me), you'll fall madly in love. You'll love hard and wholly, the way you do now. You'll think only of living free and being in love but in the blink of an eye, if you wish it, you'll wake up a mommy. You'll be responsible for another person that depends on you for every little thing. You'll be overwhelmed, for sure, but happier than you've ever been. But just as you're starting to get the hang of things, that baby will grow. She'll start walking and talking and learning and wanting. She'll want more, like you do now. I admire that, you know, how excited you are for everything that's coming your way. But I want you to never forget to appreciate where you are. This moment is very special too. Not tomorrow or next week or when you turn 8 or 10 or 13 or any age you think will make you better than what you are today. Slow down, sweet girl, you're programmed to go the perfect pace and I don't ever want you to think you have to speed up for anyone.
Which brings me to my next question: Do you know how amazing you are? I don't mean run of the mill 'My Kid Finally Stopped Eating Paste' amazing, I mean really something to watch. I wonder sometimes how you could be so incredible in spite of all of my hiccups raising you.
Those nerves of yours, the anxiety that you got from your mommy unfortunately, the nerves that made you just a little snippy and sassy as of late...the ones that made you have one last tantrum this weekend where you finally asked the question that had been whirling in your mind, "What if no one likes me, what if they don't want to be my friend?" Oh sweet baby, let me tell you something (that mommy is still learning herself), you are incredible and dynamic and perfectly imperfect. You are a wonder and a gem and so full of life that people can't help but to take notice. You will be loved and liked, I promise. But with that said, what's absolutely most important and the thing you have to always do first is like yourself. It doesn't matter if anybody else in the world likes you until you first learn that you are without a doubt, worthy of all of the adoration that will surely be coming your way.
And come to think of it, Do you how strong you are? You're a fighter! Not just when your brother insists on mixing up the pieces of your Frozen puzzles, but an honest to goodness fighter. You're off to big things and a new place and though mommy isn't too far away, many times you'll have to stick up for yourself. And that's a good thing. You'll learn to be even more self reliant and to make the right choices without a grown up at your side. But it won't always be easy, and that's why you have to be strong. Sometimes you'll have to make hard choices and even when stuff gets scary, you'll know to do what's right, so you must not forget your strength and that you don't ever have to be afraid to speak up and speak out. And though I won't be right there, don't think for a moment that I won't still be willing to fight for and with you. Because though mommy sometimes says and does the wrong thing, I've never backed down from taking care of my babies. If you need me, I'll be there. I'll yell the loudest and hit the hardest just for you. There's nothing that can ever happen that will change that. My sweet beautiful girl, you and your sister and brother are my most precious things and I promise to always lead with my heart for you, with all of the passion and intensity that brings.
And I guess my final question is just: Do you know how beautiful you are? Where you're going will probably look a lot different than where you've come from. I know you'll make lots of friends and have so much fun, but you might not see very many people that look like you. Mommy is so serious about all of the images in our home, making sure the walls are peppered with gorgeous brown faces around every corner; likenesses of your strong kinky hair down all the way down to those knobby kneed mocha legs of yours are everywhere and it's divine. We get to see the beauty that's in all of us all day, everyday in these reflections. I hope you remember that feeling when you're in this new space and without, perhaps, the constant reassurance that your look is perfect just the way it is. Don't ever forget your crown, the one mommy happily fluffs, braids or twists to your imaginative whim and your amazing hue are things to be desired. And lucky you, you're just as beautiful on the inside. You are warm and funny and kind and sensitive to people's needs. You're a star, my love, you shine so brightly others can see you glow.
So Ashton, my funny, sassy, silly girl, rest well. Tomorrow is a very big day, the start of a new adventure, and mommy knows you're going to go out into this world and do unforgettable things. I love you so very much and I can't wait to see you grow this school year.