May 18, 2017
For my girl,
Today, my sweet Goose, you turn 10 years old. Double digits. This day feels like a huge milestone, but yet truly every single day marks one. I celebrate so many things about you on this birthday—your independent spirit, your fierce intelligence, your kind and generous heart, your witty sense of humor, your evident desire to do better every time, your unique style and, let’s not forget, your clear inner knowing. Your first word was “No.” You have taught me from the beginning the power and strength to be found in owning who you are. You have been a force of will and personality that has more than once brought me to my knees, often in admiration and at times from doubt that I am doing this whole motherhood thing any justice at all. You have consistently challenged me to do better, as your mother and as your friend.
You are my greatest teacher. You have shown me that my role in your life was never to be learned from a book, website or parenting group, but through my commitment to showing up, listening to you and providing space for you to be yourself. As you would tell anyone, “free to be you and me” in our house entails more than simply freedom to do whatever you want. Quite the contrary, I know I can be strict. Having lived a few more decades than you, I have learned that structure provides more freedom to create, connect, learn and love. It is an ongoing balance.
What I believe we have learned together over this past year, and every time with more grace and peace, is to allow each other to be who we truly are in each other’s presence. Sure, I too am here to be your teacher, but not because I know the right way and certainly not because I am your mother. It is a give and take (even though I am the one who gets to make the rules about screen time and bedtime!). As I have learned with my mama, the beauty of this mother-daughter relationship is found in the ongoing conversation. The growth is found in the listening. Our ever-growing love is a direct result of the willingness to see one another for who we are without trying to squash our individuality along the way. I can sense the respect and trust growing between us every day. Our love has gotten sweeter in time, as have the laughs.
The thing that I must thank you for the most is for holding me accountable to being my truest self. The essence of Last Cut has been born in part from my quest to be the best version of myself for you. For a few years now, you have called me out when I strayed from my most authentic self, often sensing the digression long before I did. How close we are now and how smooth our interactions go (more often than not these days) are reflections not of your “good behavior” or my “good parenting,” but are the clearest sign that we both feel seen and respected for who we are at our core. This respect creates beautiful harmony, and to me, the ability to support anyone in our lives with that level of reverence is a precious gift worth every growing pain, effort, tear, belly laugh, hug and heart explosion. I am humbled by the opportunity to call myself your mama.
I love you to the moon and back a million times over and am so honored to be yours.