I have wanted to write this letter to you for a long time now, although the thought of it has always brought me to tears. My first born, leaving our nest forever as you head off to college – how did this happen so fast?! I feel like just yesterday I was only sending you off to kindergarten. On the night before we depart for Tuscaloosa, the time is perfect for some words of wisdom!
You have been the biggest gift to me since I first held you in my arms 18 years ago. Because of you, I have the most important title of my life: Mom. You made me a mom. And for that, I am forever grateful. You are my guinea pig, everything I know about parenting I learned from you. The good, the bad, the ugly. You blazed the trails with me – so consider yourself an official “trailblazer,” and keep doing just that.
You are the most beautiful person on the planet, on the inside and out. People have flocked to you since you were a tiny baby in a stroller – you’d stare back up with your big blue eyes, twinkling. You light up every room you enter and your laughter is contagious. Always hold your head high and know that you are fully capable of any goal you set.
I know you are ready to spread your wings, but for some reason I have a knot in my stomach. Any time anyone asks me “Jen, are you ready? She’s leaving soon!” – I burst into tears. What is wrong with me?! For the last week, every morning when I open my eyes, I tear up thinking about you leaving us. They are not necessarily tears of sadness, some are tears of joy! Of course I’m so happy for you, I know you have been preparing for this moment for the last four years, you are beyond ready to get out of here and find yourself. These next four years will define your future. They will be the time of your life.
From my perspective, this is another chapter closed for me, another milestone achieved – something I too have been planning for. But deep down, I know my home will never truly be the same without you in it. I won’t have all four of my amazing kids under one roof again. Half of me wants to freeze time (although I’m not all that interested in reliving your senior year:-0), the other half of me can’t wait to see what your future holds. Know that I’m going to be ok, even though I’m pretty sure I’m going to be a sobbing mess at drop off! (I blame Aunt Kathy for leaving me for college when I was 8 years old, the college drop-off thing is a trigger for me for sure:)
This summer has been the greatest gift of all. I’ve cherished every moment, every second even. I have our memories permanently etched in my soul and they make me so happy, so grateful. My favorite memories of all include the closing of any summer evening: You walk downstairs and ask if we want to hear you sing. Of course we ALWAYS want to hear you sing, you never have to ask! Your voice is that of an angel, my angel. It’s so powerful and beautiful, it brings your twin brothers out of a heated xbox game! You probably never even noticed, but every time you sing, the rest of your siblings slowly trickle down the stairs and curl up on the sofa and just listen to your beautiful voice flowing throughout our house. Don’t ever stop singing, you have such a wonderful gift!
I am so very proud of you, Ansley Grace. Don’t change one single thing about yourself. You are absolutely perfect just the way you are. You have the world in the palm of your hands. Seek out as much knowledge and information as you can in this next chapter of your life. You’re going to make mistakes, lots of them. And that’s ok. Learning from your mistakes will make you greater.
I love you to the moon and back. Know that I will be right by your side, no matter what. You’re ready to fly, Baby G!! And I can’t wait to sit back and watch!