I started my summer classes today and one of my first assignments was to write a letter to a future or existing child on the occasion of their eighteenth birthday. I had a hard time at first, wondering if it would be harder to write the letter to Avery or to a child we may never have. I decided to write the letter to my daughter. There were a few specific things that had to be included in the letter, like your dreams for your child, or what you believe makes a good parent. I did the best I could considering my letter would probably be much different than most of the letters my professor will have to read. Anyway, I wanted to share it here. I hope it's not too depressing.
I can’t believe it has been eighteen years since that bittersweet day when we said both hello and goodbye. I still remember that day like it was yesterday and if I close my eyes I can almost still feel your tiny little body in my arms. I still miss you so much it hurts.
It wasn’t an easy road for us when we decided we wanted to have a child. We both agreed that we had reached a point in our lives when we had too much love for just the two of us, and we needed someone else to share our love with. After two and a half years of failed attempts we finally decided that we would do whatever it took to have a child and decided to let Dr. D help us out. While pregnant with you I liked to picture the day that you would ask me where you came from. I was going to tell you that a very smart doctor took the best part of mommy and the best part of daddy and put them together in mommy’s tummy. I would have easily been able to tell you the truth without giving you the birds and the bees talk in its entirety at a young age.
Your daddy and I both grew up in loving families and were taught the importance of hard work and loving and forgiving your family no matter what. That is something that we had wanted to pass on to you any other children, had we been able to have more. We both knew the importance of an education, discipline and good, old-fashion family time. In the short 8 months we had with you we dreamed of all the things we would teach you and how amazing it would be to watch you grow.
I am sure we would have made our share of mistakes, maybe by sheltering you too much, or giving you too much freedom. Daddy was afraid he would have to threaten too many boys when they might tease you. I know we both would have been very protective of you but we would have taught you to be yourself and love yourself no matter how different you might look from the other children. You were one of a kind and we know that if you had been able to stay, you would have made a huge mark on this world. It wouldn’t have been an easy road but I believe that together we could have made it through anything.
You would have graduated from high school this year. It is so hard to picture but I know you would have done well and made your daddy and I very proud. We have always been proud to call you our daughter. I still mourn all of the things we have missed and will miss because you had to go too soon. I never got to teach you to read or write your name. We didn’t get to see you off to your first day of kindergarten. We never got to kiss your boo boos better or read you bedtime stories. I cry when I think of the special bond you would have had with your daddy or our mommy-daughter trips to the salon for pedicures (when you were old enough of course). I was never able to take you shopping for your first prom dress or listen to you tell me all about your first crush or first kiss. I will never see your daddy walk you down the isle and can only imagine the beautiful grandbabies you would have given us. There is so much that we have missed out on but we will forever cherish those few moments we had with you.
If there is one thing I have learned over the last eighteen years, it is that life isn’t always fair but our trials make us stronger and love can get you through anything. I know that you have been watching over us and that knowledge has made us stronger people and our love for each other and for you, stronger than we ever thought possible. Eighteen years from now we will still miss you and love you as much as the day we said goodbye. You have changed us forever Avery, and we are so thankful for that. Happy Birthday sweetie! I love you and miss you every day. You will always hold a special place in my heart. Until you are back in my arms….