You are my sunshine. I’m so very proud of you, Sylvia Elizabeth Darby.
You are only four now (ok, almost five) and already so full of things that make an amazing, competent, smart, fun, successful adult. Your sense of humor is one of the things that I love and revel in about you. Not only do you think things are funny (Hammy & the boomerang, minions, mom’s silly faces) but you also understand humor enough, at your age!, to make jokes of your own. You are the clown in your own pretend play. I’ve heard you many times, laughing in the tub at something funny that you and your animals & Barbies & cars are doing. Your laugh is my most favorite sound. Humor and lightness-of-heart are very important to making life fun and worth living. Never lose your sense of humor—cultivate it. (If someone you meet threatens your sense of humor, end your relationship immediately. Trust your mother on this one.) Your smarts and humor will diffuse so many potentially nasty situations. And you are a comic genius.
This letter isn’t a list of things I love about you, although maybe it should be, but it’s a way for me to tell you two important things.
One: You are loved. You have been loved & obsessed over & fussed with & adored since you were growing in my belly. I love you 100%, to the moon and to outer space and back. Your dad loves you 100%, to the moon and to outer space and back. Your grandparents love you. Your auntie and uncle, cousins, second-cousins love you. My friends love you. All of them. You have people. If/when you are uncertain and you want council, ask all of us, any of us. Ask Rachel and Grandma Beth. Ask me. Ask daddy and Uncle Mike. We are here to raise you. We are all here to love and support your growth in this lifetime. Use us. You are loved.
Two: You can be anything. You can do anything. Even better, you can do everything. At this point in your life, you have no real obstacles. Life is wide open for you. My job and daddy’s job, as your parents, is to keep your life as open as possible for as long as possible. We want you to try everything—play soccer, play violin, draw, paint, sing, dance, play football, read 10 books in a row, do whatever you can to learn what you want to do in life. You will always have the sense of self that you have now and the support system (see number one above) to give you a solid base, a foundation for your life. So try things out. Fail. Try something else. Succeed. Take you time, while you are young, and test the waters. We have you. We support you. You are loved.
I will never be able to thank you for showing me so much about myself and about love. How love really works. I never knew that I could love someone this completely, until I met you. I would give up every single thing in my life, including my life itself, if that would keep you safe, or make you happy, or move you toward one of your goals. Your laugher and brain and ways of thinking and exploring this world have reminded me of why we are all here.
Life is for learning and loving. You are really great at life, kiddo.