The holidays are upon us and you, my child, are a gift for which I am thankful all through the year, even though we will never meet.
I never had children of my own but my heart is full of maternal love and I give it all to you, freely and without hesitation. I give you my support, my wishes for your happiness, my strength should you ever need it, my shoulders to lean on, my ears to listen, and my hands to hold. You are so special, and have so much light to give to the world. This holiday season, I want you to shine like the beautiful light that you are.
I’m a pretty good cook so our holiday table will be resplendent with all your favorite dishes. You will sit in a seat of honor at our old oak table, and I will probably try to feed you too many desserts. (Because that’s what this loving Mom does.) And if you won’t spill the beans to Daddy Tom, I’ll even join you in the kitchen at midnight so we can sneak yet another dessert to have with our hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows, of course). The peaceful quiet of the late hour, the snow falling softly outside the windows, our murmured conversation while the cat sleeps in your lap, these are all little gifts I give to you.
Your big gift (because you know we always do one big gift each year), well, I did not have to search long and hard for that. I knew right away what it would be. It’s not something I can wrap, except in love, but I hope you will find it beautiful even without all the fancy trappings: your gift is you, the real you.
I want you to see yourself the way I do, as someone to be cherished, and valued, and nurtured, and protected, as someone who is worthy and worthwhile, as someone who deserves all the best that life can offer. I want you to see the you that can survive being judged, or being bullied, or being ignored. I want you to see the you that has allies and friends and family, even though you can’t see us face to face.
I want you to see yourself as someone who is greatly loved.
And perhaps that is my final gift to you this holiday season, a promise: I will fight for you. I will use my voice and my heart to make sure you aren’t forgotten or ignored. I will hold you, and love you, and I will always — always — set a place at my table for you.
In a world that’s sometimes harsh and ugly, you are a beacon of light.
You are welcome in my family. Always.
You are welcome in my life. Always.
You are welcome to share with me all that you are, and all that you will become. Always.
And since Daddy Tom is still sleeping, what do you say we have another piece of pie?
(And do try to keep the cat out of the marshmallows.)
I love you,