My Sweet Girl,
I debated on whether or not to write this letter for all to see, but in the end I felt it was important to share in the hopes it might be helpful not only to you and I, but to other mothers and daughters. So here it goes.
As you celebrate your 19th birthday today, I wanted to take the time to let you know how special you are to me, how proud I am of you and all you’ve accomplished, and especially how very much I love you. Though I was not there on the day you were born or for the first four and a half years of your life, I honestly fell madly in love with you on that hot July day when I first laid eyes upon you.
Late that night when you were awakened from slumber and led into that tiny, dimly lit room to meet your dad and I, my heart skipped a beat at the sight of you dressed in pajamas and red Mary Jane’s with no buckles. Your short brown hair held the biggest bow I had ever seen on such a tiny girl and you had the biggest brown eyes that twinkled even in the dead of night. It was at that very moment you became my daughter without question and my love for you began. That was almost 15 years ago.
I know over the years I have held the reins tight when parenting you. We have had our ups and downs and have been through more than most mothers and daughters will ever go through or should ever have to go through. This is certainly through no fault of yours or mine, it is just the way circumstances made it. Though it was not easy, we made it through and my goal of making sure you were healthy and happy came to fruition the day dad and I dropped you off at college last August. It was the proudest and most difficult day of my life.
On your return visits home, I know I have continued to try to hold those parenting reins tight to the detriment of our relationship at times. For that, my sweet girl, I am truly sorry. I have put so much thought into why I am having such a hard time letting you go and while I am still not a hundred percent certain, I know part of the reason is that in my mind you are only 15 years old, for that is how long you have been my child. I am sure you may not understand this and I don’t expect you to.
The thing I really want you to understand is this…I know without question you are a very capable and independent young woman and not the 15-year-old girl stuck in my head; the one I am having such a hard time letting go of. So as you celebrate your birthday, my gift to you is a promise to work on my issues of letting go and to encourage and celebrate your growth and independence. I will do my very best to take a step or five back and let you make your own decisions with the promise to be there to cheer you on, to catch you when you fall and to support and love you unconditionally no matter what.
In closing, I want you to know you are very much wanted and loved. I am so blessed to have you as my daughter and in my life. I love you, sweet girl, and I am very proud of the beautiful, independent and intelligent young woman you have become.
Love and happiness today and always,