Dear Rachel

I’m not sure how this could have happened – it seems like just a couple of years since you were born. I remember being in hospital with my newborn daughter, insisting that my mother kiss you on the back of the neck. Absolutely insisting, in awe of the softness of your skin. Your golden blonde hair shining on the back of your head as you lay in the crib next to me. Bringing you home and being so afraid you would break, that I would fall while carrying you down the stairs, terrified to be left alone with you.

Those days when it was as much as I could do to take a shower and get dressed – leaving the house was a step too far. Just holding you and staring at you in amazement. The tininess of your fingers. How you loved to be carried lying face down on my arm. It was the only thing that would calm you when you were crying. Overwhelmed, in love, out of my depth – but learning.

And now I look at you on the way to adulthood and I can begin to see the woman you will become. You are brave and kind, loving and thoughtful. Hard working, determined, creative, responsible. You make me laugh every day.

I am so proud of you, and I love you beyond measure. Remember that when the teenage mood swings start. When you think you hate me, when you are convinced I have ruined your life and that you didn’t ask to be born. I will always love you. You are my first, the one who changed me forever, and for that I will always be grateful.


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