April 3, 2016

A Letter for Later: Your Future

Eloise Mae,

Today you are 15-months-old. You can walk steadily and kick a ball. You are ticklish on your neck and under your arms. You can say a handful of words like dada, mama, hi, play, uh oh, that, ball, Ollie, meow, and woof. Meow sometimes comes out as wow or ow, but those work just as well! You like to organize and sort from one basket to another. Books are your favorite toys. You love to eat anything except asparagus. You are cautious but very independent. On command you will give high fives and slobbery kisses, identify your belly and other peoples' noses, stick out your tongue, and brush your hair. You amaze us with all of the new things you can do every day.

This morning, a quiet Sunday with the sun shining in through our front window, a Disney commercial caught my attention. I was glued to the screen. When I finally looked away, I realized I wasn't the only one completely captivated. Your baby blues were wide and more beautiful than ever. You were soaking up every image too. And then you broke into a total dance party. Girlfriend, you've got some serious groove.

As silly as it sounds, the commercial really made me think. It made me think about the big personality your tiny heart has already shown us. We have made it our ultimate goal to raise you to be a kind, educated, and confident girl. The rest is up to you. I get goosebumps when I imagine the possibilities for your life. It might be the coolest part, and there are many, about being your Mommy.

You can literally do anything you want to do. I know that is an often overused expression, but it is true. You are a blank canvas. Bits of color are beginning to emerge as your personality develops, but the final masterpiece is still a mystery.

Maybe you will teach the next generation. Maybe you will be an artist. Maybe you will help others feel healthy again. Maybe you will run your own restaurant or business. Maybe you will serve and protect your country. I am so proud that these are all of the important things our family contributes to the world. You've got incredible positive examples and people to look up to.

But maybe you will choose your own way. Maybe you will explore outer space (Daddy would be jealous). Or cure a rare disease. Or nurture our delicate planet. Or become an influential politician. Or act on broadway. Or be a mom. Or design big buildings. Or take care of wild animals. Or raise awareness for something you believe in. Or maybe you will do something valuable we have never even thought of before.

Whatever unique path you forge for yourself, know that it will be full of uncertainty and sometimes you will be scared. Daddy and I will always be there along the journey and at the finish line with confetti and big smiles. We will probably bring cake to celebrate too, because you know where that big sweet tooth of yours comes from. And if you ever decide to start from scratch and begin again, we will be there too.

We will support whatever you choose to do, whoever you choose to love, and whoever you choose to be, as long as it makes you the best and happiest Eloise you can be. 

I have never been more excited to see how a story unfolds than yours. I am scared, though, that I will spend too much time dreaming of what you will be that I will forget to appreciate what you already are. I spent more days than I am proud to admit wishing your infant days away. I could not wait for Daddy to get home safe, and I was looking forward to seeing you become more active. I am vowing now to appreciate each step towards finding out what kind of masterpiece you will be.

In this very moment, you are the little girl giggling and bouncing to the beat in the sunshine of our happy home. And that is more than I could have ever dreamed for this day.

Dream big, princess.

I love you,

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