Dear Mary M. E., Class of 2016, a letter to my youngest daughter

boo and ab upside down nyc

Dear Mary M. E., Class of 2016:

How do I affirm who you are and tell you why I love you? What do I want to say to you as you go off to college next year? Why am I proud of you? What are my hopes, dreams, and prayers for you? What are my favorite memories?

Darling BooBoo, you came to me as a gift. A child I never expected to have, never even dreamed I would have — a gift from God. You helped me become a “real” mother, along with your big sister, just like the little boy helped his velveteen rabbit become “real”… you helped me become who I am today just as much as I nurtured you from birth till now. Your patience, your sociability, your love of other people, you enjoyed being the youngest in a big mob! You helped me learn, really learn the value of a strong will and a compassionate heart. The value of having a silly, infectious laugh, and a serious, contemplative side. You are a sensitive, delicate soul who deeply appreciates the joyous things in life yet is nonetheless strong enough to survive the tough times with grace.


You were born pretty fast, and were tinted blue (now your favorite color) when you came out, because your umbilical cord had been wrapped around your neck, but the second the nurses got that untangled and rubbed you down, you turned pink and opened your eyes. You didn’t cry… just looked at everything with your eyes wide open, for an unusually long time, the nurses said.   And when your big sister, Abigail, came in to see you and reached out to touch you, you grabbed one of her fingers with your tiny hand, tightly, and you didn’t let go!

You didn’t want a pacifier, or a bottle, or to sleep anywhere but on my chest. So we slept like that for a while, barricaded with pillows so you couldn’t roll off the bed. Then you slept in the middle between your father and me for months. Eventually you were okay with the crib.

You wanted to hold your head up so much you insisted on being in a walker when you could barely manage it. You’d push yourself around, looking at everything. The minute you could crawl, you were done with the walker. You didn’t talk much, at first, but when you started it was in full sentences, and you talked a lot, about a lot of things, very curious and with a very big vocabulary… people would hear you talking and take me aside and whisper, “she’s very smart!”

You had the tiniest, cutest little feet! Your toes were like little pink peas. You were a bit of a mischievous rascal, playing peekaboo, hide and seek, chase, you name the game, you were ready. You even put on your big brother’s boxing gloves one time and wanted to play that game!

Something I wrote about you a long, long time ago:

November 5, 2001

What BooBoo said today, at Abigail’s school, where we were to drop off a bag of dressy clothes for A’s French presentation: the sky was gray & overcast, yet there was no rain, it was borderline gloomy but also very pretty in a way — she said “It’s a beautiful day today.” I agreed with her.

Later, I realized that just because the sun was behind a layer of gray, you could still tell it was there, you could still see the disc behind the gray, it still had light, and though you couldn’t see, exactly, the brightness, you knew it was there. As did my three-year-old. Faith is the key to all of this. Trust in this life, trust and god will bring you what you need.

I love you, my darling Mary M. E., and I am honored to be your mother.




Filed under childhood, family, letters, love, nonfiction, parenting, transitions

9 responses to “Dear Mary M. E., Class of 2016, a letter to my youngest daughter

  1. Sweet and precious. A lovely gift she will cherish for all of her life. Good job, mom. Kudos and many blessings to you and your wonderful daughter.☕️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • thank you. i will miss her so much. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      • I have two daughters. One lives in Northern California, the other is just one suburb over. As mothers, we will miss them no matter what the distance. We will always wonder how they are, do they need anything, etc., and that’s when we know that they are thinking the same about us. I can’t tell you the number of times I have been in the midst of a thought about one of them only to have the phone ring and suddenly I’m saying….”Great minds think alike!”

        We love them and we’ll always be there for them. ☕️❤️

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh, this is one lucky girl to have a mother who expresses such beautiful memories and feelings about her. Yes, I feel she will be fine in life, just this post alone should carry her through her darkest hour.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Exquisite, my Dear Kim! I got goose pimples reading this. Love to Both (And All) You lovely people.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Congrats, Mary…and what a terrific and moving view into the past and future of who you are, and what characteristics made you the bright star you’ve become throughout life. I send the best of wishes for you at college and beyond, and hope all goes well for you. What a wonderful true story, Kim, excellent writing once again.

    Liked by 1 person

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