Sunday, March 07, 2010

Dear Sophie,

Do you have any idea how much I love you? Probably not. Although I tell you all the time, you are only two and a half. So...I doubt you remember. I mean, I know you love me and you know I love you. I think you conceptually understand what love is. But you also love popsicles, ring pops and watching OomiZoomi, so I am not sure you have a grasp on how deeply I love you. That's what scares me.

Because you're so young, I'm afraid you won't remember any of the time we've had together so far. I'm crazy about spending time with you. We travel, we do fun and exciting things, we make a lot of memories. I have pictures to prove it! ( they're all on my blackberry. At least you can see them on Facebook!!) And sometimes we don't do anything exciting except spend hours and hours together, playing play-doh, painting, coloring and playing pretend. And if anything ever happened to me, I'm so fearful that all of those memories would be wiped out. Your concept of who mommy is would slowly diminish over time, until all you had were pictures of memories that no longer existed in the hard drive of your memory.

My fear is not unfounded. My dad left when I was little. I don't have any memories of him from when I was your age. I have a few spotty memories of visits when I was a little kid, but that's it. So to think of you having to live a life not knowing me just cuts me to the core. It leaves me panicked, anxious and fearful. Which leads me to things like sleeping in your room, taking you on more trips, rocking you to sleep and giving in to your whims a little more than I should, in hopes of building more memories with you. That something in your brain would remember me.

This is a fear I project on your daddy too. I worry about him. His dangerous job. The thought that in protecting someone else's family, he could tear ours apart, irrevocably. It's a risk he willingly takes every single day, God bless him. I'd have to be heavily drugged to ever do his job, but I'm so grateful he does it. I don't worry about him as much as I used to...he's so good at his job. Getting the chance to see him do it first hand has eased a lot of those worries. But life is fickle and there are a lot of bad people out there who like to hurt cops. I worry that someday you might have your daddy taken away from you too soon. That you, too, could grow up not knowing your daddy and my heart hurts for you.

Spending time getting to know sweet Kate and her family, and now learning about precious Layla Grace has made me even more fearful. Wanting to protect you from the world's evils, I snatch you up in my arms and pray that no harm comes to you. I hold you close and grieve inwardly the minute I have to let you out into the world. Either because I let you go on an adventure with your daddy or your nanny, or because I have to leave you behind and trust that someone else will care for you in the same (obsessive, controlling, anxious, smothering) way that I do. I've said it before and I'll say it again...being your mom is both the best and the hardest job I've ever had in my life.

But, because I am your mom, I have certain responsibilities. I know I have to learn to worry less, to let you brave the crazy wide world, to teach you how to survive on your own - with or without my help. And so, one of the things I really want you to learn to be (within reason - no extreme sports that will give your mom a heart attack or stroke) is...


It's something I'm trying to learn more, every day. Imagine my surprise in church today when our pastor shared the news that worry is a sin. That, in fact, God did not create us to be worrisome. In the Bible, the #1 most frequently repeated command is "do not fear". We learned that the Greek word for worry means "to be pulled apart". That certainly describes the way I have let worry consume me. And that 92% of what we worry about will never happen. I'm not sure if that's accurate or not, but it feels that way for me. I worry about a lot of things that never happen (praise God!).

So I'm going to try to change. It won't be easy, and I'm sure someday - when you're a teenager - you'll complain about how I worry too much. I know you won't believe me when I tell you it is possible to worry more about you. But I'm going to try to give up that control. I want to teach you about God and His unconditional love for you. And I realize that to do that, I have to release you completely and totally into His care. Oh Sophia - I can't wait for the day when you know the love that God has for you. It is - incredibly - deeper, fuller and more unconditional than I could ever hope to give you...if you can believe that!

So until then, I'm going to study more about how to fear-less, so I can help you become fearless. I will repeat my favorite Bible verse so many times, that you'll have it memorized before you go off to college (unless you want to live at home until you're 80...which is totally fine! OK, ok...I'm working on it...). So here it is, Philippians 4:4-8

"Rejoice in the Lord, always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

And so my darling daughter, I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in this day and I will be glad for the time we have. I will not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow has enough worries of it's own.

I love you with all that I am...

love, your mommy :)

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