They told me not to blink, but I was too overwhelmed learning how to become a mother.
They told me to savor every minute, but I was too distracted guiding your first steps and teaching you to count to 10.
They told me motherhood doesn’t come with a manual, but I was determined to Pinterest every meal and birthday party.
They told me I’d miss your preschool years, but I was eager for you to mature and become independent.
They told me to slow down, but I insisted on juggling Brownie meetings, sports, and summer camps.
They told me elementary school is fleeting, but I was preoccupied with Halloween costumes and classroom parties.
They told me to enjoy middle school, but I wasted time worrying about friends’ drama, puberty, and adolescence.
They told me, but I didn’t listen. I was too busy worrying, too busy to appreciate each milestone.
Until the morning I dropped you off at the front door of your high school. That’s when time stood still and I stopped blinking.
I stared at you, much taller now than when you entered kindergarten.
Back then, my tears flowed freely. This time, I suppressed my emotions so as not to embarrass you.
Back then, you carried an empty pink backpack and wore an apple-shaped nametag around your neck. This time, you walked confidently, your steps burdened by the weight of your textbooks.
Back then, you gave me endless hugs and kisses and squeezed my hand. This time, you told me you loved me and ran to hug your friends.
I blinked, and you were gone, a high school freshman full of ambition and promise.
That’s when I made you a promise of my own.
This time, baby girl, I promise to savor every minute of the next four years.
This time, I promise to relish the emotional rollercoasters while supporting your journey to adulthood.
This time, I promise to binge-watch Gilmore Girls with you for the sixth time, and overlook bedtime and the piles of laundry on the floor.
This time, I promise to ignore society’s pessimism and live in the moment while I walk beside you.
This time, I promise to let your energy be my strength and your creativity spark my imagination.
This time, I promise to cheer you on as you ponder every opportunity and relish every success.
This time, I promise to let you create your canvas guided by the strength of your convictions and the lessons you learned along the way.
This time, I promise to respect your decision as you forge a path inspired by your hopes and dreams.
For when the time comes to drop you off at college, I promise my tears will be endless, and my heart will swell with pride at the little girl you once were and the young woman you’ve become.