A letter in celebration of my middle child

30 Nov

My daughter is currently the Student of the Week for her kindergarten class. This means several things, including the fact that she was sent home with a stuffed bear we are to tote around and then record, photographically and in prose, their joint activities. She also gets to sit at a special desk all week, bring in her favorite book (Iggy Peck, Architect), and have show-and-tell (Barbie). But tomorrow’s activity is the classroom reading (by the teacher) of a parent-written letter in celebration of the student. At first I struggled with this. Not because I couldn’t think of enough wonderful things to say about my exceptional child, but because I wasn’t sure what form the letter should take. Early attempts included a comically rhyming epistle that smacked of children’s storybook. I guess I was imagining her impossibly cute and perky kindergarten teacher reading it aloud in an animated fashion. Once I got over that, I wrote from the heart, but then immediately started to worry about my sentence structure (choppy) and my vocabulary (thankfully above kindergarten level). But in the end, this is who I am, saying how I feel, about who she is. And she is the girl she is somewhat because I am the girl I am. I decided to share the finished product here because I know that this scrap of paper in my handwriting, sent in her backpack to her teacher, is likely never to be seen again. And I want to save this for posterity. When we are in the throes of our greatest mother-daughter battles yet to come, I want to have this as a touchstone. A reference for her, and for me, of how I see her and how proud I am of her. Even when she is driving me crazy.


Dearest Harper Kate,

You are my darling middle child, the oldest daughter, the one with two jobs: younger sister and older sister. And I am proud of you.

You are sweet and kind, quick to help your baby sister with her dress-up clothes or to patiently help your brother sort Legos. And I am proud of you.

You are exciting to be around, funny and vivacious, bubbling over with laughter and smiling with bright, flashing eyes, you make even boring activities fun. And I am proud of you.

You are my drama queen, highs and lows of great extremes, you were born for the stage or screen. Whether singing, dancing, or playing a role, you are a shining star. And I am proud of you.

You are smart, so very smart. You love school, you love learning, you are exactly the kind of nerd I hoped you would be (the kind I used to be!) with a love of numbers and challenges, reading and words. And I am proud of you.

You are an athlete, a soccer star. Playing hard, but always fair, never giving up, quick feet, big kicks, and scrappy perserverance. And I am proud of you.

You are so beautifully creative, always drawing and creating art, never without markers or crayons to create beautiful things to share with others. And I am proud of you.

For all these things, I am so very proud to be your mom. I am so lucky you are mine. Because even when you are driving me crazy, I love you to the moon and back. You are my one and only, my much-loved, Harper Kate!

Love, Mommy


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