dear daughter: I see you.

I see you, my sweet girl. So much has changed in this past year. I see you with your suddenly long limbs, gangly and graceful at the same time. The last bit of little kid that was lurking around is gone. I see you with your crooked grin, proudly displaying your latest lost tooth-turned-treasure. You are awkward and beautiful, silly and serious, little and big.

Excited to go with Daddy to work today! #takeyourkidtoworkday

Playground date with Casey & Grandma

I see you straddling the line between your past and your future. Your past was filled with make-believe and dolls and little kid play. Your future will be Big Girl things, makeup and fashion and and friends and art and books that you already love so much. I just pray that you still keep a little bit of that make-believe, and don’t let go of those dolls too soon.

I feel like I don't have many years left of Maggie dressing in random outfits around the house. I'll miss it.

Not arguing for 3.5 minutes. Had to document.

I see you posing in front of the mirror, making serious faces that make me giggle inside. I see you pushing the limits of what I view as acceptable clothing for a Girl Your Age and I know this is just the beginning of a long road of battles between us. And it’s okay. You see yourself as so grown up and I want to hug you and keep you small for just a little longer. Opposing forces. This should be interesting.

I see you making me laugh, all the time, because you’re a goofball. I love hanging out with you.

Zach turns ONE

She could pick anywhere for dinner while we were out tonight & she picked Taco Bell. #foodie

I see you with your strong opinions- feelings about food, what you wear, and I see you roll your eyes when I make you pin your hair back from your precious face. I see your opinions about where we’ll go for dinner, what you want to watch on tv, how long you’ll let your little sister tag along after you before you get irritated. I see you being patient with your little brother, playing the role of Mommy when I’m busy with something else. I see you being helpful and wonderful and generous, even when I have to remind you to be so.

I see you in the midst of the typical self-centered drama that comes with your age. You’re learning the painful lesson that you are not the center of the world, even if you are one of the brightest spots in ours. Little slights and troubles are so big to you, and I try my best to understand and remember that even if it’s inconsequential to me, it matters to you. Let it out, and I’ll always listen.

I see you being brave and being willing to take more risks. I see you working hard. I see you being scared but doing it anyway. I see you doing amazing things, right now and down the road.

End of another fun year of gymnastics! So proud of her.

Birthday girl at school!

I see you, the you of 5 or 6 years ago, chubby and soft and wide-eyed and curly-haired. I can hear your sweet toddler voice, asking toddler questions, feel your tiny toddler hand clinging tightly to mine.

hamming in up



big kid

If I squint, I can still see her. But she’s very very faint. Part of me aches for that past version of you, just wanting to hold her one more time. But I also see the incredible YOU that is here now, and I am less sad about leaving her behind.

I see you, growing up. A mama’s heart is heavy and light, all at the same time.

goodbye, first grade!


  1. Chrissie

    June 5, 2014 2:06 pm

    Beautifully written and such sweet sentiments.

  2. Pris

    June 5, 2014 2:07 pm

    Well, if that didn’t just hit me like a ton of bricks. I am fighting that huge lump in my throat that is aching to get out and allow me to sob like a baby!! I am at work and can’t cry in front of these guys. I am having a hard time with the fact that my girl is heading off to high school next year and every little detail you wrote in this post is true for me too. This is, by far, one of the best posts I have ever read regarding how it feels to watch your daughter growing up. Thanks and pass me a dang tissue!!

    • Jen

      June 5, 2014 2:13 pm

      SO SORRY DON’T CRY AT WORK!!!! ;) But I’m glad you can relate. I’ve just been struck so hard lately with how BIG she’s getting, and not just physically. She has her own LIFE away from us, which she has had through daycare since she was a baby but it just wasn’t the same as it is now. This is different. Permanent. Scary. But also awesome.

  3. Melissa

    June 5, 2014 2:49 pm

    Such a bittersweet time, but oh, so much love in your words and your heart. She is lucky to have a Mama who recognizes this transition and appreciates her need for more space to grow into her own person *as well as* her continued need for certain boundaries (so important!), even when it’s a tug of war sometimes. ;) She’s a fantastic kid and you’re doing an amazing job as a parent! HUGS.

    Oliver has been an “old soul” since he was born, lol, so I’ve had similar feelings about him for what seems like all his life… but Andrew is so very different–does a lot more imaginative play, etc–and I foresee that the next couple of years for HIM are going to be a bigger change from little boy to Big Kid, and it will be harder for both of us. And Matthew is somewhere in between, but he’s the Last Baby, so that makes everything sort of monumental. Right now, with all three between almost-8 and almost-2, I feel like we’re in this sweet spot where things are still magical for all of them… it won’t last long enough. (sigh)

  4. Lacey

    June 5, 2014 3:21 pm

    Omg choking back the tears here too. That was so sweet and so bittersweet at the same time.

  5. Courtney McCauley

    June 5, 2014 3:39 pm

    Wowzers! Beautifully written! I also got the big lump in my throat and teary eyed!

  6. mona

    June 5, 2014 7:00 pm

    so, so sweet. it’s amazing to see how much she’s grown.

  7. Tracey

    June 5, 2014 8:37 pm

    That was beautiful.

  8. Laura Diniwilk

    June 6, 2014 12:06 pm

    AHH this definitely made me tear up. She is beautiful, just like mom. Why do these kids have to grow up so dang fast?

  9. Jesabes

    June 8, 2014 11:10 pm

    So wonderful. I feel like every time I blink I miss seeing a change in my kids. I hope I always see as much of their story as I can!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *