A little love note to my daughter / by Chakriya Phal

My dear little girl,

I found a cf card of misplaced images of you a few days ago. It came at the perfect time. Weeks before I had been complaining to your dad about how I've forgotten how small you once were - your baby smell disappeared too quickly for me. You were four months old in these images. All rolls and delicious, I would nibble on your toes all day. You were mastering rolling over by yourself and looked stun when you finally made it onto your belly. You still had your gummy smile and by some miracle, you were sleeping through the night.

Tomorrow is your first day of daycare and I'm marveling at how fast time flies. The first few months you were growing inside of me, I told your dad repeatedly that my life would not change when you were here. I simply would not allow it. I am a business woman! Four months and then daycare, I told him sternly, four months. TJ, are you even listening to me? Four months!  How was I to know anything? When you finally came I fell head over heels, madly, insanely, god it fucking hurts in love. You imprinted on me, my dear. I didn't want anyone else to care for you. You were and still are my heaven. I am constantly surprised at how much my heart cracked open when you became my daughter.

This past weekend someone jokingly teased me, "So now is your life fulfilled?"  And without hesitation, I replied, "yes." My heart sort of fluttered for a second because I didn't expect to give such a sure answer. The truth is that for the longest time I didn't think I could have kids. Therefore, for the longest time I told myself I didn't want any. I truly believed it. It wasn't until I met your dad that I started to dream of you. Boy, I never knew what I was missing out on. Now I think, "Man, having a kid is pretty cool" because you're pretty cool. You give me the giggles. I love the way you unapologetically toss your head back and laugh at your own jokes. You have my blessing to be a stand up comic. If this past weekend taught me anything it's that I have all that I want at home with you and your dad. My life is good. Great even because you are my passion project.

Have fun in school tomorrow. Remember, it's okay if you cry. I'll be crying too. Being brave can be hard sometimes.

I love you,

   Mom