Dear Megan

Today is your 19th birthday.

I am sure you feel like you have waited for this day forever.

For me, the years have whizzed by in a blur.  

I remember the first time I held you, I can still smell your sweet baby breath.  I remember the nurses at the hospital trying to wheel you out of my room so that I could rest – I was having none of that!  You were mine and staying put right beside me! 

… I didn’t realize then how often in the coming years I would feel the exact same way.  That very intense need for you to just stay put.

I was so young when I had you.  It seems a cruel joke that parenting is done by the young.  In my case – the very young.  Barely an adult myself – what did I know about being a Mama?  Nothing.  Less than nothing.  The only thing I knew for sure – that I loved you.  From the moment I knew you existed.  I loved you in a way that I had never loved before – it was instantly all consuming.  I could barely take care of myself at that age let alone a tiny baby … and while I was trying to figure it all out you pushed forward – at quite an alarming pace. 

Quite honestly, I feel like I have spent the last nineteen years saying ‘wait’


… or ‘not yet’

… or ‘i’m not ready’

… as you just pushed on.  Forward.  Faster and faster.  You never stayed put in the same stage for long.  You met every new year, experience and challenge head on with one eye on the next experience.  If the new experience you were waiting for wasn’t quite coming fast enough you would beckon it with a fever pitch or run at it headlong as fast as your long legs would carry you.  Done, check, NEXT.  What is next?

You didnt gradually grow out of your crib and into a big girl bed like other babies.  You climbed up over those oh so very high bars and slid down to let me know it was time.  I wasn’t ready.  Quite frankly if you let me go at my pace, I am not sure I’d be ready now.  But you were sure –  Mama if you aren’t going to put me in a big girl bed, then I am going to crawl out of this contraption and scare the wits out of you by almost falling from the top so you may as well get on with it

And so it started.

You crawled, climbed, up over and around anything you could.  Nothing could stop you.  You walked, talked and grew.  I said no.  You reached again.  I said no again, you kept reaching.  You wanted it all.  Everything.  You wanted to explore.  If this was your boundary then you wanted that one over there.  Oh, ok, I can go over there now mama – thanks – but now I want to go over there … and so on.

Kindergarten came and went.  Grade one.  You gone all day.  I fretted and worried about leaving you.  You smiled and said ‘bye mama’ and tumbled forward!  As each year went by you didn’t seem to notice that I was flying by the seat of my pants trying to catch up and learn.  You forgave my mistakes without (it seems) even noticing them.  The fact that I was totally human and oh so very flawed didn’t seem to matter, you loved me anyways.  Unconditionally.

Sleepovers.  Summer Camp.  Boys.  You were ready for it all.  Every step of the way I dragged my feet and held your hand as long as you would let me.  You were ready for each step as it came though.  Every year, every new boundary, every new experience you were already there waiting for it all to happen.  Your teen years.  Yikes.  I found myself saying all those same things my mom did, all those cliched momisms that I rolled my eyes at just flew out of my mouth one after another.  And you rolled your beautiful big eyes at me and stomped your feet and kept moving with that all knowing sly little smile of yours.

Dont worry Mama, it will be ok.

And now this.   19.  I guess 19 is the biggest milestone (of your youth anyways).

Nineteen.  As the number rolls off my fingers into the keypad I can still hardly believe it.  And allow me just one more cliche –

where did the time go? 

really – where did it go? 

Im proud of you.  You have not taken the easy path.  Ever.  You bounded out my door long ago and supported yourself and threw your heart and soul into living your life on your terms.

You leapt into this final year of your childhood without seeming to look back.  You charged forward and tried new things, made new friends, found a little niche in a community you are comfortable in and are making your way in the world.

I want to tell you that life as an adult is easy.  I want to be able to say the world is a safe and generally good place.  But it just isnt sometimes.  It is tough and it is hard but it is worth it.  I promise.  You have tools.  Tools that not everyone has.  You have compassion, you are not scared to fight for what you believe in and even if you cannot understand another’s situation or point of view, you at least try to.  These are all beautiful qualities that will serve you well.

I look at you today and see a young woman who loves.  You love with your whole body.  I watched you look at your grandma yesterday when you spoke to her.  You leaned in and moved your arms across the table closer to her.  I felt what she felt.  I know what it feels like to be loved by Megan.  I know what it feels like to be loved by someone who feels like you do.  You feel with every fibre of you heart, mind and body.  Everything about your biological makeup and brain would suggest that that kind of focus would be near impossible but I see it in you over and over again with those that you love.  You are ruled by your heart.  That will make things tough sometimes but for all the instances that it will make you hurt there will be ten more instances where you will experience life ten times richer than other people just for how you feel.  And that will make up for it.

I stop in at your work ever couple of weeks.  In the few moments before you see me I get a chance to see ‘my megan’ in full force – out in the world – enthralling whoever you are speaking to.  I love to see through a stranger’s eyes what I have been lucky enough to experience first hand for the last nineteen years.  The light that is Megan.

As you pass this milestone and head on to the next – promise me one more thing?

Live.  Live each moment.  Enjoy every small good thing that comes your way and try not to sweat the hard stuff to long or too hard.  I know in the moment they seem overwhelming but I can honestly say looking back that most of the things I thought so important and so overwhelming either turned out ok or turned out to be unimportant in the end.  And the things that happen that are life changing and out of our control are going to happen whether we want them to or not – so just breath through them – dont worry before they happen or dwell on them after – live in and for the moments that bring you pleasure, seek them out, savour them and hold on to them.  Those moments, and the people that you love are what will sustain you through the hard times.

And do not forget that I am always here for you.

I love you.

Happy Birthday my beauty.





  1. sizzle said,

    June 26, 2008 at 9:30 am

    That was so lovely. How lucky you both are to have one another!Happy Birthday to her. 🙂

  2. June 28, 2008 at 5:24 am

    Awww… beautifully written. You’re a lucky mom to have such a great daughter, and she’s a lucky daughter to have such a great mom.

  3. prin said,

    June 28, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Aw! She’s the luckiest girl in the world.

  4. cheek said,

    June 28, 2008 at 6:51 pm

    You are a beautiful person and it displays in your writing……

  5. NerdGirl said,

    June 28, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    Sizzle: I am lucky to have her. She truly changed the course of my life.

    Colonel: Thanks! You are a doll!

    Prin: And I am the lckiest mama!

    Cheek: I love you. Dearly. Truly. My bff forever. Any comment from you melts my heart.

  6. Kerstin said,

    June 30, 2008 at 9:25 am

    What a beautiful tribute to your beautiful daughter. You’re both very lucky to have each other!

  7. katelin said,

    June 30, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    what a sweet post. happy birthday megan! 🙂

  8. alan said,

    July 1, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Sorry to have missed this wonderful post! As my feet come back to Earth from being caught aloft “in the whirl” of life; I know who has one of the best Moms on the planet, and a Mom who has a daughter who is “the most”!

    Happy belated Birthday to your darling, and congratulations on raising someone so wonderful!


  9. December 4, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    […] Megan (my daughter) got called out by Syd for lurking on her blog without commenting!  haha Meg.  I’d like to say that it wasn’t my fault.  But it was! hehe  Im trying to figure out who will be the worst influence on who?  I figure they’ll both get an education of some sort! […]

  10. June 14, 2011 at 1:27 am

    […] April 23, 2011, my beautiful daughter Megan and her boyfriend Matt welcomed into our family little Miss […]

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