You don't remember the first time we met, but I'll never forget it. I was just turning 16, unhappy, unfulfilled, and pictured myself stuck in that state. It was a couple days before my birthday, actually, when I saw you- both a figment of my imagination and incredibly real at the same time. The months ahead were the longest spent annoying my peers and my teachers with the anticipation of your arrival.
It's incredible how physically holding you was anymore surreal than what I imagined you'd be. You were more beautiful than what I saw in my mind for the 7 months prior.
And I was so lucky to get to grow with you these past 5 years.
With all the turmoil in the world today, I'm starting to reminisce on your imaginative days. When you asked, "what's that?" and wanted to learn everything all at once. Being able to hold your hand and teach you things that were once so negligent for me, and suddenly they became the most remarkable things in the world. Your curiosity reminded me how curious everything really is and awakened something in me that had been put to rest by my impending adulthood.
And now you're turning 5.
We're getting so old in two completely different ways. I'll be turning 30 and gaining my wrinkles soon and you'll be 16 and gaining your regrets or your fears. If there's anything I can teach you now, it's to push back every day on those anxieties. To never let the world take things from you that you won't give yourself. I want you to always stand brave against the smallest bug and the biggest bully, and to speak your mind even when it's wrong. I want you to make poop jokes and pick your nose for pictures without worrying if it'll disgust your teacher or the cute boy in class. (Trust me: they're all show. They're picking wedgies between classes and probably forget to flush the toilet.) I want to be able to let go of your adventurous little self so you can be a somewhat productive member of society like the rest of us, but I also want to see her in the most random moments.
Newborn and pondering into space. Taking in everything with a smile and beginning to giggle with the greatest laugh I have ever, and will ever have, heard.
1 year old and taking your first steps, already showing that you were ready to take on every adventure.
2 years old talking through the side of your mouth with a "binky" trying to discern everything around you.
3 years old and being the best big sister, prepared to protect and relay everything you've learned.
4 years old wanting to write and hold my hand everywhere I go. Letting me know you love me for no reason whatsoever- casually expressing how important people are in your life.
5 years old- what's next?
I hope one day you're 14 and fabulous but forgot for a brief moment. With a frown I hope you read this and remember how much you mean to me. I hope the fact that you will never be able to comprehend the amount to which I love you will make you smile. I hope where ever I am in life at that point, that we are still as close as we are now.
So this is my letter to you as you get ready to start school and life and all that great stuff. And I can't be there everyday, but I'll always be there when you get home. Remember me as always a phone call away.
Love you, you weirdo.