Here’s the deal. Your third birthday has come and gone, and I am embarrassingly late with this love letter to you. But, my excuse is that we are nearing the end of summer, and gearing up for the upcoming school year. Our summer days have been filled with adventures, swim lessons, spontaneous playdates, library trips, yard work, and many bowls of frozen yogurt, and it’s all going so very quickly now.
Truth be told, I have been struggling to write this letter to you. I have a hard time describing your personality. Because the truth is – this past summer has been a challenge with you. There is a lot going on in your head – and you are strong and fearless – a frightening combination for us. For example, a few weeks ago, you insisted on jumping off the diving board at our local pool. You just barely learned to swim this summer, but before I could even get to the other side of the pool you marched to the end of the board, placed your toes over the end, and jumped in with no hesitation. Or maybe it's independence and stubbornness because you insist on walking through parking lots without holding a hand. Or the argument that we have on a weekly basis that you cannot scooter, alone, six houses down, across a busy street, to visit your friends. I am fully convinced that there are no less than 1,432 opinions running through your mind each second of every hour, all day long, and you make these opinions known in very loud and boisterous ways. You do not sit back or sit still or sit tight. You go and be and do and try, tornado-ing through life with a very clear and direct agenda.
But here’s the other thing: you are gentle and loving and kind, mirroring the emotions of those around you and displaying such empathy for the world. The other day, Lily fell. She scraped her knees and banged up her elbows. You saw it happen, and you rushed over as soon as you heard the crying and it took all of three seconds before tears welled in your eyes and you cried too, looking back and forth, between me and your sister, doing your best to comfort her.
Fearlessness and sensitivity are a difficult combination to work with. They’re tough cards to be dealt, but they are also amazing tools to carry through life.
And here is my wish for you, dear Violet, that you continue to honor the weight of life. That your fears never stop you from daring to think new thoughts, try new things, take risks, fail, start again, and be happy. That you continue to discover that there is more to life than afternoon dance parties and summer bike rides – and that you remain sensitive to the good times – and the bad. In life, there will be moments of pure magic and green grass and perfect days, and they will lift your spirits. It happens naturally, like the cooling effects of a summer thunderstorm. You’ll know it when you feel it.
But, empathy isn’t a trained behavior. It’s an inherent reaction that comes from a good and beautiful heart – the kind of heart that you have. I can’t wait to see you grow into someone who cares so much. Someone who is so very aware of the weight that life holds. Being sensitive can be a hard trait to carry through life, but it’s a good one – I promise. You’ll see.
Sweet Violet, I guess what I am trying to say that I can’t wait to watch you grow: To dance, wild and free.
I love you more than all the water in the ocean and all the stars in the sky.
ps: Breakfast was twenty minutes ago, no you can't have a snack.