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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dear Kylee

Dear Kylee,

When I was 5 I thought I had a pretty good idea of what love was. 26 years ago I had just started Kindergarten like you did today, and left my mom for the first time. I got to ride the bus to school and wore my FAVORITE outfit. Grandma had curled my hair 'just so' and I was with my best friends! I was nervous and excited and shy and hopeful and felt so much LOVE! I was looked after, appreciated, supported, snuggled, read to, played with, and tucked in with hugs and kisses goodnight. I knew love.

Then I was 16 and love was different. This time it came from a boy in the forms of cheesy notes and long letters, and hand holding, and butterflies in the stomach, and dances in the rain. I knew love. 

Then I was 21 and love was everything. It was in my heart and my thoughts, in my hopes and my dreams, in my speech and my moments of silence, in my prayers and in my pleadings. Love was my life and I could have it for eternity. On the day dad and I were sealed in the temple my heart was so full that I knew I couldn't possibly love more than I did at that moment. I knew love.

Then I was 23 and love proved me wrong. It was wrapped in blue and screaming at me. It was 5 lbs 9oz. of pure innocence. It was the smallest baby I'd ever held, yet made my heart the biggest it'd ever been. Love was being a mom. It was late nights and early mornings, poopy diapers and puked on clothes. It was worrying and pacing, and laughter and singing the same barney song over and over and over. I knew love.

Then I was 25 and love was you. 5 years ago when the doctor told us, "it's a girl!" at our 20 week ultrasound I laughed and said, "I know!" He looked at me a little confused and said, "what?" I informed him that from the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew it was going to be a girl and the feeling only got stronger and stronger over the next couple months. I was waiting for you Kylee! I knew you were coming to our family and I couldn't WAIT to have my girl here on earth with me. I have loved you from the moment I heard your heartbeat and saw your peanut body on the screen. "No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all you're the one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside."-author unknown. I knew love.

About 5 mo. ago I dropped you off at pre-school and you were in a particularly good mood. You hoped right out of the car, gave me a quick kiss, with a roll of your eyes, because you had just jumped out of the car when I made you turn around and come back by saying, "Hey! Get back here little miss and give me my kiss!" Then you threw your backpack over your shoulder, and ran up to the door. After you knocked you turned around and gave me a quick wave and a giggle and shouted, " LOVE you!" through my open window. You whipped back around as your teacher answered the door and scampered inside. I don't know what it was about that particular day, or that exact moment, that I was all of a sudden just completely overcome with LOVE for you, but I will never forget how I felt sitting out there in the car watching you. It's almost as if I had never felt love until that point. It was so real, so raw, so different than any kind of love I have ever felt that it caught me completely off gaurd. I had planned to run some errands after I dropped you off that day, but instead went home to get a tissue and try to process what my heart was doing. I realized then that my love for you is constantly changing, growing, and getting stronger as you grow and learn and experience life. I knew love.

And grow you have. I still am having a hard time believing I dropped you off today for the first time, for the next 12 years. But you were SO ready!! You wore your cute pink shirt (that you wanted to wear bc you said it made you look like an adult so your teacher would really like it :) ) and your polka dot shorts, with your sliver sparkly tennies. You HATE when we curl your hair, so we flipped it out like you like and you picked a headband to match your shorts. But the MOST important item for the first day of school?? Your backpack. You were SO excited about your backpack. It had to be the perfect one. The day you spotted it at target, you knew it was the one. A pink, with white polka dots, knapsack. You ran over to it and said, "Mom! I love this one! This is the one I've been waiting for!" So we loaded the most expensive backpack I've ever come across into our cart and bought it because... well when "it's the one", what choice do you have? 

 We got to school about 10 minutes early and I went into your classroom with you to help you find your desk and put your backpack away. We talked to Mrs. Lindberg for a second and then she told us to go outside and wait at the kindergarten playground until the bell rang and then she would come show all the kids how to line up. 


We headed outside but you didn't join the majority of the kids that ran onto the playground. You held my hand, that you hadn't let go of since we got out of the car, and I was secretly so glad. You see, at that moment, I needed you as much as you needed me. Before I was ready to let you go, out walked Mrs. L and she clapped her hands and told all the kids to come line up in front of her. You looked up at me and I nodded my head yes, not able to open my mouth because I was bitting my lip so hard to keep from crying in front of you, and off you ran to join the others. I told myself to "Man up!", turned my head to the side for a second so I could get the ginormous lump out of my throat that was litteraly burning from the pain of keeping all my love for you inside, and turned back to give you a big smile and wave and yelled, "Kylee, have SO much fun today!!" 

You were nervous, but brave and confident, as you followed the 18 kids in front of you (yep, I counted! Had to do something to keep my mind from thinking about you too much). I was so proud of you! Mrs. L said, "Okay kids tell your partents goodbye and that it's time for them to go. You'll see them soon." I wanted to slap her. Time for me to go?? What if you weren't ready for me to go?! I wanted to walk up to that line and yank you out and say, nah we'll try this again next year. Or in the least just run up and hug you another 10 times, and remind you to use your manners, and raise your hand before you talk, and make sure to tell her if you have to go to the bathroom, and don't be nervous and, to remember EVERYTHING so you can tell me all about it and, and, and...that I love you. Then I realized that she said it was time to go for MY sake, not yours. And it was, time for me to let you go. Walking into your class you only looked back at me once before you disappeared behind the doors that slammed shut behind you with an emphatic "Goodbye mom, she belongs here now. Hope you taught her everything she'll need to know for the rest of her life." I've never been jealous of a place before. But right then I would have given anything to be the walls that stood around you. Did I teach you enough? Are you having fun? Are you being kind? Are others being kind to you? What if you get hurt, who will kiss it better? Who will tell you it's ok to cry? Who will wrap their arms around you to make you feel secure? I hate that it won't be me. I know love.

And you know what the thing is about all those times? I was never wrong. I was always eager to let love in. In all it's amazing, wonderful, promising, and even sometimes heartbreaking, forms. And every time I allowed it to find a place in my heart, my heart grew bigger and stronger than the time previous. I'm so lucky to have had, and still have, SO much love throughout my life. I wish the same for you. Love can hurt, but it can also heal. Never be afraid to love. Love life, love learning, love family and friends, love your Savior Jesus Christ, love your passions and love your struggles. Love your enemies, love strangers, love kindness, love chocolate, love beauty and seek for things that are of true worth. Love LOVE! But most yourself. YOU are amazing. YOU are a child of God. YOU are of worth. YOU are beautiful. YOU have a divine destiny as a daughter of a King. Always remember who you are and whose you are. "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."-Dr. Seuss The thing I LOVE about you Kylee is that you are always true to who you are. Never stop being you. Love you forever. 

Mom  xoxo