You were tiny here – not even a year old – but those bright eyes? You’ve still got them.
(To my youngest daughter)
“Resilient.” That’s the first adjective that comes to mind when I want to describe you. When I told you, a few weeks ago, that you’re resilient, you weren’t sure what it meant, and when I explained, you remained indifferent. You were far more interested in “smart,” “beautiful” and “fashionable.”
You are of course smart, beautiful and very fashionable, but resilience, defined as the positive capacity of people to cope with stress and to bounce back from adversity, is an amazing gift and is one of the main reasons I don’t just love you, but admire you.
You have a way of not allowing setbacks to hold you back, of shrugging off negativity and focusing on the positive. You have the gift, at the tender age of 8, of filtering out toxic friends from your social circle and only hanging out with supportive, loving friends. And you have the amazing ability to face adversity and challenge with courage and determination and to keep going, even when the going gets rough.
I’m under no illusion of course that your life is anything other than pampered and sheltered, so your inherent resilience never had to withstand serious tests so far. I hope it continues this way, and in the meantime, I look at you and at how you cope with daily stresses and I’m in awe.
The second major adjective that comes to mind is “happy,” which is probably tied to “resilient.” By “happy” I mean positive, energetic, focuses on the positive in every situation rather than dwelling on the negative, and has an amazing appetite for life. You came here eight years ago, and so far you’ve made sure to use every second to the fullest. You’re really enjoying the journey and for someone like me, who tends to reflect and worry and stress, it’s an amazing experience to watch someone having so much fun.
I love you more than you can imagine, and even though you say you love me just as much as I love you, rest assured that this is not the case, and that’s OK – parents are supposed to love their children with an intensity that no other love can rival.
But I don’t just love you. I also admire you. Before I became a parent, I never realized that one learns from their kids just as much as one teaches their kids. Now I know.
So far, being your mother has been one of the most intense experiences of my life. Thank you for this gift.