Tuesday, August 19, 2008

An Open Letter to Jessie

My dearest little girl-

You are the darling angel that I was able to first feed and diaper-change. Today you embark on a new journey and I couldn’t be more proud, nervous, or petrified. The phrase “middle school” sends shivers down my spine.

It seems like only only yesterday when either mom or I would hear your sobs in your crib during the night. Because you were expected at Christmas we kept a small lit tree in your room until almost spring. One of us would fix your bottle and walk back up to your room. We’d pick you up and then watch you stare into the colorful lights on your dresser. You have always been a wonderful child. Even then you immediately fell back asleep. But Mommy and Dad would still sit in that rocking chair holding you and caressing you for a few more moments. I guess it’s a parent’s instinct to know days like this would one day come.

You are at school right now, walking bigger hallways, meeting more strangers than ever before, and even riding a bus for the first time. I so very much want to be there holding your hand, guiding you between classes and your locker, making sure you are happy, safe, and sound. You see my dear that has been my job up until now. Today things have changed.

Mom and I will still make sure you are happy, safe, and sound but you have now moved onto a different path – the one that leads you into young adulthood and your independence. We do realize that you are prepared for it but it doesn’t soften the ache your mother and I both feel. The letting go part has just begun. It will continue until you eventually graduate and move on to college.

Just know precious Jessie that your father is constantly praying for you. With all of my soul he will always be there to protect you, to hold you, to nurture you, to pick you up when you are down, and to broadcast to the world how much I love you.

As we walked the hallways of your new school yesterday I couldn’t help but see the same angelic face I saw 11 years ago look up at me once again. And that is the treasure of being a parent...your parent. Memories of a beautiful child that will never fade away.

I'll always love you to the moon and back -

Daddy

The picture of was taken in October 2002 during The Lion King performance at Disney World. Jessie was five at the time and wanted so very much to be a princess. Little did she know that she was already one.

7 comments:

we_be_toys said...

Sniffle! Such a sweet letter - it's so hard sometimes to watch them grow up right before our eyes. Now I'm going to have to go hug a couple of boys!

Kyla said...

So sweet! It can't be time for middle school already!

Bennie said...

I made Joan cry.

Sonja Cantrell said...

Comment by Jessie's BFF's (Bailey) grandmother...
I want to share the letter I found on my desk this week...
Jessie,
The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. You truly are my best friend! I'm sorry we will be going to different schools.
Remember, I love you.
Bailey

Sonja Cantrell said...

Also, Bennie, your letter made me shed some tears too. Our whole family loves Jessie.

gwendomama said...

I am teary because I love you. I just found you and I love you.

You are sooooo lucky to have Ben - but you already know that.

And you and I get to roast Tanis together too.....
Now I love you even MORE.

(canuck* snort*snort)

Above Average Joe said...

"I'll always love you to the moon and back"

I love that book. I read it to the kids whenever I can.