I look at my daughter and my heart breaks.
It shatters, because it simply cannot contain something larger than the words love, adore, cherish, treasure.
I stare at her and wonder where I am in all of that beauty.
I hear her giggle, delicate and ladylike, and hope it is a hint to her disposition. I watch her discover, tasting and feeling things unfamiliar, and hope it is insatiable. I recognize her sense of humor while she razzes or claps or waves over and over, as long as she has a captive audience, and hope it is unchanging. I marvel at her growing confidence, and hope it is unstoppable.
I know what I want for her.
I want to take the very best parts of me and give them to her. I want her to be witty, intelligent, honest, and affectionate.
I want to take my ugliest pieces, trade them for something shinier, polish them to perfection, and plant them in her. I want her to be meeker, wiser, sensitive, and hard-working.
I want her to be better, to be brighter. I want her to be lovely. I want to take what precious little I know I’m doing right, and teach her to do it right, too. I want to take the overwhelming amount of things I think I’ve got a grip on, and help her figure out how to do it more gracefully. I want to take the stuff I’ve gotten hopelessly wrong, sweep it out from under the rug, and scare her straight with all of my scars.
I want to teach her how to hide her heart in God. I want to teach her to speak with significance. I want to teach her poise and elegance and dignity. I want to teach her to be unapologetic and uncompromising in character. But I must learn these things first.
I want to teach her whose opinion really matters. I want to teach her that laughter heals. I want to teach her patience and gentleness and tact. I want to teach her to be flexible and forgiving in circumstances. Because I learned these the heart-breaking way.
I want her to know, to know, that she is capable and destined to be infinitely more magical.
I want her to know that she already is.