Is it possible that a child can be a window into your past, as well as all the pasts that could have happened but didn’t? I look at this toothless little monster and I see myself smiling back…but I also see all of the things I could have been and all the things I wished I wasn’t. What roads will she take, and what roads will I guide her down? Will I help her to avoid the things I hate remembering (like being bullied, or be coming too serious to be silly)? Or will I let them happen so she will become a stronger person? Will I push her to love books and study hard, because those are things I value, or will I lay off a bit and let her dance around in her pink tutu and paint her nails? Will she be stronger and more confident than I was…go abroad in High School, take some risks? I look at her sometimes with envy because she is just beginning in life… she has the chance to do everything right, try anything, see everything… And then other times I look at her with worry, because I know she won’t always know how to make all of the right choices and I won’t be able to make them for her.
I wish I could take a peek forward, just a one day glimpse of her when she is 16…just to know that I was a good parent, and she was a happy, conscientious young lady. But alas, since that is unlikely to happen, I will have to do what all parents do, and hope for the best.
Abby, I wish you all the best in life and I will do everything I can to protect you, push you, comfort you and guide you. This is my birthday present to you.