I know you do not know how much I wanted you. I wanted you and your brother more than you will ever know but for different reasons. Caleb made me a mom after struggling for years to become pregnant. You made me a mom all over again and gave me hope on something I thought I would never have again, a mother-daughter relationship.
When I found out you were a girl, I was overjoyed and actually in so much disbelief that the nurses, doctor, your father and my sister had to really convince me you were a girl. I just could not believe it. But with that joy, also came a little bit of fear. Raising both you and your brother are a great responsibility that I do not take lighly. I want more than anything and am trying everyday to raise respectful, kind, confident and strong children. Yet, I feel that I have a greater responsibility to you in regards to your relationship with food and your body. Of course, I want Caleb to have a healthy relationship with his body and food but I believe it is still a much more of a struggle for girls and women. After struggling for much of my life with my own relationship with food and my body, you and Caleb allowed me to change my relationship. You both taught me there was so much more to life than obsessing about exercise and food. You showed me how amazing my body truly was and is and what it was capable of. I still have days I struggle or go back to my old ways of thinking but you and Caleb will never understand how much you healed me. I only hope that I can now pass this healthy relationship on to you.
My wishes for you:
- That you try all different types of exercise, movement and sports throughout your lifetime because moving our bodies is fun and enjoyable.
- That you find a type of exercise/movement that you love, find joy in and do it often and until your golden years.
- That you want to exercise and eat delicious nourishing foods because it makes you feel good and strong.
- That you do not see foods as inherently good or bad but that some foods make us feel and perform better than others.
- That you learn and hopefully enjoy to cook as I think cooking for yourself is one of the highest forms of self-care and cooking for others is an expression of love.
- That you know just how amazing good food can be and that it should not be associated with guilt or shame.
- That you do not exercise for punishment for eating something ‘bad.’
- That you know your strong legs and genetic build are actually a gift that allows you to run, swim, climb and do all these amazing physical things.
- That you never hear me talk negatively about my body or someone else’s body.
- That you never hear me say that I have been ‘bad’ when it comes to food or exercise.
- That you will be a leader with your girlfriends when it comes to body image and show them what a healthy relationship with your body and food can really look like.
- That you never see a number on the scale and let it determine what kind of day you are going to have.
- That any number measuring anything on your body (clothes, waist size etc.) is NOT a reflection of your self-worth. YOU WILL ALWAYS BE MORE THAN A NUMBER.
I know you will probably struggle with some of these issues as many will, but I hope I can be a good example and that you have a healthy, enjoyable relationship with food, exercise and body image. You are strong, smart, beautiful and everything to me. I have learned more about my body, my relationship with food and myself in the last 4 years than I have in my entire lifetime and everyday I still learn, am challenged and in awe of what you and Caleb continue to teach me. Thank you for this responsibility. Thank you for being mine.
Your favorite book currently, and the one we brought to the hospital on the night you were born so that we could put your footprints on the inside cover also sums up my wishes for you.
I Wish you More
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
I wish you more ups than downs.
I wish you more give than take.
I wish you more tippy-toes than deep.
I wish you more we than me.
I wish you more hugs than ughs.
I wish you more WOO-HOO than WHOA!
I wish you more will than hill.
I wish you more can than knot.
I wish you more snowflakes than tongue.
I wish you more pause than fast-forward.
I wish you more umbrella than rain.
I wish you more bubbles than bath.
I wish you more treasures than pockets.
I wish you more stories than stars.
I wish all of this for you, because you are everything I could wish for…and more.
Happy Birthday baby girl!