Turning Ten

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Dear Lakshmi,

Today, you turn ten years old.  You are turning a corner, a decade of life, moving into the double digits.  I can’t believe it.  Time has flown by, and somehow in the blink of an eye, you have evolved into a conscious, aware human being, one with a personality and a voice, with opinions, likes and dislikes.  And it is hard for me to imagine that the next decade will somehow pass by even more quickly, and before we know it, you will be a grown adult, and I too will be another decade older.

These words are selfish in the sense that I want to forever preserve my memory of you at ten years old.  At ten, you love dogs more than you love most humans.  You will not eat a bite of dessert without first offering it to everyone around you.  At ten, you spend ninety percent of your waking (and supposed to be sleeping) hours with your face buried in a book.  You have the most generous spirit of anyone I know, and I pray that you find a way to hold on to that beautiful, soft vulnerability despite the rough surfaces that life will bring.

At ten, you somehow have one foot in your childhood, and one foot in your “tween” years.  You still love to be carried down the stairs in the morning, although you are almost as tall as I am.  You lay on your brother and roll around and wrestle with him, and you defend and protect him fiercely if he gets in trouble or is in pain.  At the same time, you have an old soul, one that has deep intuition, one that can sense the emotions of others, and one that will always rally for the underdog.  You are loyal to a fault.  I pray that you find a way to hold on to that compassion, despite the rough surfaces that life will bring.

At ten, I feel glimpses of you growing up into the adult that you were meant to be.  I am blessed that you chose me to be your mother.  Mothering has brought the greatest set of challenges and fears that I have ever faced in my life.  Fundamentally, the challenge of keeping you safe and healthy on all levels, as well as the challenge of raising you and your brother to be conscious, kind citizens of this world.

I will be honest that most days, I don’t know what I am doing, and I am kind of flying by the seat of my pants with this mothering thing.  I know I often don’t get it right, but I hope you know that I always, always try my best, which may not be enough sometimes.  Fortunately for me, you are quick to forgive.  I pray that you find a way to hold on to that forgiveness, despite the rough surfaces that life will bring.

I hope that this next day, this next year, this next decade, brings you all the joy that life has to offer.  I hope that you remember to always care deeply for yourself and others, and honor every day that you are offered.  I pray that when you have pain, you never suffer, and that you know you are never alone.  It amazes me, this beautiful miracle, that I have grown you, that you come from and through me, and that you too have me contained within every cell of your being.  Which to me, means that no matter where you and I find ourselves, through space and time, our souls are essentially inseparable.

I couldn’t be more thankful to have you in my life.  You bring our family endless laughter, questions, and most of all, endless love.  We are so grateful, and don’t take a single minute with you for granted.  With love, your Mama

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