05 Oct 2016

For My Daughter When She Turns 13 (Or Whatever Age It Is Girls No Longer Think Their Moms Are Cool)

Let me tell you about last night.

You’re five and a half now. The half is important to you I think. And you sleep with my shirt. It was my favorite shirt. It smells a LOT like me because it hasn’t been washed in some time. But when I started traveling for work this fall you co-opted that shirt. It’s blue and has Mickey Mouse ears on the front of it. I think I got it at Target.

You sleep with that shirt every night now. It has a very interesting collection of smells.

Sometimes you wander through in the mornings with bedhead and you’re actually wearing my shirt over your pajamas. Sometimes at night when I lean over you to catch a wisp of your baby breath while you’re sleeping the shirt is all tangled up in your legs. Sometimes it lies next to you on the pillow like it’s me, watching over you.

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Baby girl, last night I came in to tuck you in bed after home group and I think I was more tired than you were. I lay down next to you and then I couldn’t get up to turn off the light. So you climbed out the side of your bed and turned out the lamp and crawled back in next to me and softly kissed me good night on my forehead. Then you petted my cheek. Then you curled into the blankets next to me and tucked your tiny arms and legs up into me like a kitten. We lay there side by side under your glo-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling and you described all the animal shapes you could see in them.

I kept my eyes closed as you talked. Your soft voice whispering over me. Zoe, I’m so glad God gave me a daughter I told you. And you whispered back, I’m so glad you’re my mom. Then I felt your soft baby lips on mine as you kissed me again. And we lay side by side and even though my eyes were closed I could feel you watching me. Then you turned over, as you always do, because you like to sleep on your right side. You turned over but one tiny hand crept back behind your back so you could stroke my arm. The way you did when you were a baby. The way you did every day of that first year of your beautiful life.

Over and over again your tiny palm would stroke my arm, my elbow, as you fell asleep. Comforting us both.

We lay tucked in together on your pink princess bed beneath the neon stars stuck to your ceiling and it was the most home kind of feeling there is. My daughter, you are at home in me and I in you and even when you turn thirteen I’ll always have tonight. I pray we’ll always be as close as a tuck in but maybe we won’t. Maybe we’ll push against each other.

So I’m writing tonight down. I’m writing it down so we can both remember the night you tucked your feet in between mine and petted my arm and told me you were so glad I was your mom.

Because I’m so glad you’re my daughter.

Comments

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  1. 1

    This is beautiful <3 My daughter is also 5, and I worry everyday that somehow we will drift apart as she gets older…….

  2. 2

    All the feels – and tears! As a mom of two girls, I totally get this!

  3. 3

    Beautiful. And truly important to remember

  4. 4
    Christina Ling says:

    Oh you have a just described my life and the love affair with my own daughter. She is about to turn 8 and I wonder daily when the “switch” will come. I pray that we can remain connected despite of the storm of adolescence! Lol! I love how you describe that tucking of arms and legs up into you like a kitten! It’s so perfectly describes what happens. I am also hanging on to those words…I am glad you are my mom! So precious. Thank you for so eloquently writing these words. Praying that though things may change we can hold on to the closeness we feel to our daughters.

  5. 5

    My daughter is 12 and doesn’t want anything to do with me unless it’s when she is ready. I took her on a “Passport to Purity” weekend, and even though there were some beautiful moments, most of it was her eye rolling and me trying not to get discouraged.

  6. 6

    Oh Lisa-Jo! You capture the feeling in words so beautifully. I always whisper to my daughter a bed time that “she is my favorite daughter” ( she is actually my only daughther) and she always whispers back to me that I am her favorite mommy. She will be 3 next month and since infancy she has searched for my lips when she needs comfort at night and will rub them till she falls asleep.

    I love these moments with her and will always treasure them.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  7. 7

    So beautiful. I’m snuggling my 3 month old baby girl a little tighter tonight praying for moments like this. Thank you for sharing!

  8. 8

    Gah! My girlie is 21 and lives just down the road… but this brought me right back to her little princess bed and ceiling with glow in the dark stars… and tickling of backs and stroking of arms and heavy eyelids… And here is the good news… she doesn’t have to go through the phase of not loving you! Struggle and growing pains, of course… but the good news is she will still love you at 13… and 15… and 21, too!

  9. 9

    This post reminds me that the most important thing in the world is relationships. With God, our children, and others. I have treasured my relationship with my daughter. It was not perfect, but she and I remained close. Today she is one of my best friends and the mother of my first grandchild. I watch her with her little daughter and see the love they have for each other and know the cycle will happen again. You and your daughter have that relationship in place and one day you will be best friends too.

  10. 10

    Just beautiful. And just as true with granddaughters :)

  11. 11

    Oh that was hard for me to swallow today. I so wish I had written down memories like that. My daughter is 13 and some days she is still my sweet girl that likes to make me laugh, but most days are rough lately. Sometimes she even tells me how much she hates me and how I’ve ruined her life. I pray my heart will heal and we will be close again every day in the future.

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