When I look at you, so many emotions are knit together…longing, regret, joy, delight. And just simple love. I just, simply, love you.
Memories of you are sweet, Kathryn Ann. You have always been that way…sweet. You have always been thoughtful. Always understanding. Always accepting.
You have never wanted a lot. Never needed a lot. Never demanded our attention. You have always been patient. You always seemed to know when someone else had needs greater than yours. I wonder what you felt. I wonder if you noticed when all of my attention was focused on helping William learn to walk again, or helping him strengthen his left side. I wonder if it bothered you that so much of my time was spent helping Henry learn how to hear. Helping Henry learn words, or learn sounds. I wonder if all of the therapy that was the center of our lives for years and years…I wonder if that had any impact on you. And then when the baby came…when Ella came…and she needed so much of my time. You just seemed to understand.
Perhaps that is the sadness I feel. You were never the one that needed us more.
I miss you, Kate. I miss the times we used to be together. I miss how little you were. I miss brushing your hair. I miss your little voice. I miss your footed pajamas. I miss putting you in pretty little dresses. I miss ribbons in your hair. I miss those days when it was just you and me…when I would build a fire, and we would wrap up in a blanket and stay that way the entire day. When you needed me; when my love for you was so overwhelming I couldn’t look away from your beautiful face, and my tears would fall on your cheeks.
The other day, you turned eleven. There is so much about you that you should be proud of. And even though I miss all of those times when you were littler, I could not be more happy about the young lady you are becoming. You are smart, and pretty, and determined. You are creative. You love simple things. You are a hair splitter. You are grumpy in the morning, which amuses me just a little, and you are (very) chatty in the evenings. Your stories take too long to tell (there is a lot of detail you feel you simply must portray)…and you have a hard time sticking to one topic; your mind is going in 1,000 different directions at once…too fast to keep up. Sometimes you try to say something and it comes out like complete gibberish and Daddy and I just burst out laughing because we have no idea what on earth you are talking about. And you laugh, too.
You love horses. You love dogs. You love reading. You have a wierd fascination with smiley faces. Turquoise is your favorite color. Your fashion sense…hmmm…we’re working on it. I think if you could, you would wear jeans and a t-shirt every day of your life. I wonder why it is that you can’t expand a little and then I realize that I wear jeans and a t-shirt every day. I’m sorry I did that to you.
Your room is a mess. You cannot throw even a scrap of paper away. I fear you are becoming a hoarder. I have resorted to threatening you with the disappearance of stuff. That freaks you out, and yet you still do not clean your room. A part of me is afraid to throw anything away…those old things are a link to the past, and to the little you that I miss so much. Besides, I know there are worse things in life than your pig sty.
I hope that you will always want to talk to me. I hope you will always want to share your excrutiatingly detailed stories with me, but I fear that a time will come where I will not be the person you come to. I will be the person against whom you will rebel. Maybe not. But my heart breaks just a little when I think about that. Daddy and I have given you roots. I suppose the time will come soon enough that we will have to give you wings, as well. You will fly so far and so high.
And then one day you will come back, stronger, and more beautiful than I can even imagine. (You will come back, right?)
You are my treasure, Kate. From the very moment you entered my life, you have been my treasure.