An open letter to my daughter on her third birthday…

Molly Jean LaCasse,

You started talking a whole lot more this year, and/or I’m finally learning to decipher what it is you so passionately speak of. I was especially proud to teach you your full name, partly because the last one (rightfully so); now matches mine. I bow to the universe’s work (but am less shocked than I would have been just a year ago), that you have energetically gathered how empowering it is for me to hear it; when you speak it out loud. The way you constantly get formal (first, middle, and last name) about enthusiastically referring to yourself in the third person, therefore comes as less of a surprise to me.

Last year when I wrote to you we were experiencing some pretty drastic life changes. The uncharted territory was not without choppy sea’s, but we have made it far! I’ve often reflected on the traumatic circumstances of what we have endured; for the longest time I subconsciously felt rather unlucky that we were chosen to walk this path. I remember reading comments on the articles about your dad’s arrest once I finally gathered the courage/ let the curiosity win. I was very struck (and triggered) whenever I would read what felt like the most common sentiment from strangers; “Thank God it happened now! Two weeks before. Not two weeks after!”

I thought to myself, that a physical parallel would have been a soldier being badly wounded in the field. A soldier whose body was decorated by shrapnel; for that’s what my heart had felt like. A soldier who had lost the lives of friends; like we had. A soldier whose heart was still beating but whose future was uncertain; for that’s how I felt about ours. I imagine that people would have shared similar sentiments with that soldier. They would have said “Well thank God you are alive! You made it!” And I imagine that like me, that soldier would have replaced those exclamation points with questions marks…

However, while the comments/ opinions initially felt a little dismissive; I genuinely understood where those people were coming from… I just couldn’t wholeheartedly feel it, until now… Most recently as I recall all we have survived, I am overcome with gratitude. Gratitude that things fell apart. That feels a little strange to type, but the truth is I want so much more for you, than what our previous life would have been capable of offering. I want you to live your life walking with your head held high; tall and proud. I want your world to be littered with words of your own personal truth, and for you to speak to yourself and others, through actions of integrity. I want you to know that even when you are faced with something you don’t feel capable of; that it is not impossible! This year has taught me that, and I am striving to teach you the same. Molly Jean LaCasse, “simply” because you exist all things are possible. Regardless of what it is that you face, you are capable of not just surviving, but thriving… You can walk on. One step, one breath, and one beat of your heart at a time. You need only choose to do so.

Obstacles will come. Hopefully not many will be as disturbing as this past years, but I guarantee they will come. Obstacles will come, and regardless of how diligently we prepare they may invoke fear, and take our breath away… They will arrive when we least expect them… Because life is nothing, if it is not the process of things continually coming together, and then falling apart… It’s as if life strives to continually break us open, so that we can evolve… and this year we did just that!

Currently Molly, our obstacles look like keeping your underwear dry and being able to properly pronounce words like “duckbilled platypus.” Right now our “problems” are accompanied by eye rolls from me as I explain to you that it’s not your birthday, or Easter, or Christmas again tomorrow… Our issues take the shape of me having to work more than one job and simultaneously raise you on my own. While I pray, that our new problems will always feel this small, a bigger part of me knows better. I know, because I am all too aware, that at the very least, a day will come in which I have to explain to you where (or who) your father is.

This haunts me. This haunts me because my greatest fear is that the truth will break you the way that it broke me. I pray for guidance and dream up ways that I can protect you. I wish things were different for you. I wish that I could display pictures of your father in our home and that I could honor who and what he was to us in “the beginning;” but I can’t. I don’t know how…

You don’t ask for him anymore, which has been a complicated relief to me. Still I hear you while you imaginatively play with your dolls. My ears linger on your every word as you make the baby doll say “hi, daddy how is you!?” to the male figurine. I hold my breath, only exhaling as I hear the “father’s” response. “I is good, how is you!?” and the playing continues… relief cascades my body.

My biggest fear is that you will somehow come to internalize that the absence of your father, says something about your worthiness. Nothing my sweet baby girl, could be further from the truth. In these moments I like to close my eyes, find my breath, and remember what I wrote to you earlier… Because we exist, all things are possible. I like to recall that nothing all that miraculous has ever been born, in the clenches of comfort. I like to internally scan/examine the scars of my heart. I like to remind myself of the way you fought for your first breath, as you were born. I like to call to mind how many mornings over the past year you have awoken me by literally singing; “The moon is sleeping and the sun is back!” For it is in connecting within the truth of all of this that I can clearly see; we are cut from the same mold. You already have what it takes to endure whatever comes your way; and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life reminding you of just that…. Molly Jean LaCasse; the face of a princess and the heart of a true warrior.

I wrote this in your letter last year but it feels more than worthy of repeating…

Molly, you have saved me. Every moment of every day, you continue to rescue me; again and again. You have written in my heart that I have what it takes to rise from the ashes, because you need me just as I need you.

You make three look like so much fun! I am so proud of the little girl you are becoming. It’s a gift and an honor to belong to you.

I love you so much, baby!

Always. Always.

-Mom

One thought on “An open letter to my daughter on her third birthday…

  1. Oh Kat! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for writing this-I needed to hear all of this today. What a fortunate child your Molly is, and how happy I am for you both that you have each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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