Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Grace,

You amaze me. Every single day you do something that leaves me speechless. Most recently it's been watching you emerge from your protective, quiet shell, into an outgoing risk-taker.

You are an observer. You watch, learn and take things in. You've never been the kind of person who needs to be the center of attention. That, in fact, makes you uncomfortable. You prefer the peripheral. From the side you have a better view of the entire picture. That's how you participate... from the sidelines. It's always been your way, and I've always loved and accepted you for who you are.

But you are changing, my love. You are becoming a person who jumps right in with both feet.

I first noticed it on our girls trip a few weeks ago. We were at a conference for young people. The last session had the young people seated in the middle of the room, and the parents and family members on the sides. Any child who wanted to was given the chance to go up to the mic and say a few words about what he or she would be taking away from the weekend. I watched you in your seat, confident that you wouldn't choose to talk. The girl I knew wouldn't even have considered it. It's fine for others, just not your style. You squirmed, you wiggled, you screwed up your confidence, and MY LITTLE GIRL marched right up and spoke in front of 250 strangers! My pride came pouring out as tears as I watched you put your nervousness aside and take a risk. You did it!

Another example is when you went off to camp this summer. Yes, you were more familiar since you went there last year, but this year seemed different. You seemed to embrace having more fun. Last year you received the Silent But Deadly "award" referring to your quietness. This year you got the Jumping Bean "award" for constantly swimming out to the floating dock, climbing on, and jumping of in all manner of shapes and forms. How great is that!

That brings me to tonight. We went to the boardwalk to ride the rides. In the past, my sweetness, you've been timid about riding the "scary" rides. Anything you weren't familiar with you'd never want to try. A little out of fear, a little out of intimidation, but certain rides just weren't for you. But not tonight! It turns out that my little girl, who got carsick TWICE on the way to camp this year, LOVES the spiny rides! And the fast ones, and the scary ones, too! You couldn't get enough! Tilt-a-Whirl, Bumper Cars (which you've never driven before, and take it from me, there's a learning curve to figuring out how to get out of a corner!), Roller Coaster, Scrambler, the lay-on-your-belly-and-fly-around-in-a-circle ride, THE LOG FLOOM! You loved every minute, and embraced the fun of it all. You seem to have realized that part of the fun is in the not knowing. And that, my girl, is a huge life lesson.

So it came as no surprise to me that you wanted to give yourself your Lantus shot at bedtime. You've been off shots for almost a year, and here you are, confident enough to give yourself your one shot a day. My heart overflows.

I don't know what has brought about this transformation. Is part of it being a child with diabetes? Every day you face challenges I will never know - I can only watch from the sidelines. Is living with a chronic condition, and meeting it head on day after day after day making you into a warrior princess? I don't know. I'd like to think that's one silver lining.

Whatever the cause or the outcome, I love watching you become the person you are. You are my joy.



  1. Oh my I cried as I read this letter because it describes my Bekah to a T. I have had the same thoughts about her over the past few months and have been trying to sort them in to a blog. She is quiet and shy but just recently has shown such amazing bravery and has jumped in with both feet too. Bekah is my warrior princess as well. Great blog!

  2. She is her mother's daughter- and she is wonderful!

  3. What a beautiful heartfelt and wondrous letter to Grace. She is amazing. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful letter Pam.

  4. wow what a tear jerker post thanks I needed that today . thanks so much .

  5. Thanks for sharing. I could copy and paste so much of what you've said. My Gracie is emerging from her shell just as you are describing. You have such a great way with words and I really enjoy reading your blog.

  6. She is an amazing girl! I know it all happens so fast! It seems like the grow up over night!

  7. Hi Friend....LOVE this letter. It's just beautiful, Pam. I'm going to write a similar one for Matthew's birthday in October.

    Sorry I'm so behind in blogging......hope those numbers are still awesome! : )