My girl, never apologize for being you! Tonight I had an earth-shattering realization – perhaps even life-changing (but we’ll have to check back on that one) – I parent in a very controlling way.

As a parent, I am always trying to control my children. And I mean that in the nicest way possible… not in some crazy-mom obsessive kind of way. Let me explain; I am forever telling them to sit nicely, eat with their mouths closed, mind their P’s and Q’s, greet politely, say please and thank you – and I am laser-focused on making sure these things are always remembered… control, control, control. Not that this is ALWAYS a bad thing, of course. Obviously, our kids need to be ‘controlled’ sometimes (but let me not speak for all moms out there… mine certainly do). Sometimes they need a little reminder of the social norms we are compelled to live by – for good reason.

But sometimes, sometimes, we need to step into that little world of theirs and recognize that social norms can be set aside for a moment – in the name of just being real. So tonight I decided to stop apologizing for my daughter’s behavior.

The one for whom I always apologize because she’s a little more free-spirited than most can deal with, a little louder than most ears are used to, a little busier than most are willing to tolerate. I always apologize for her behavior. But not tonight!

Tonight I want to write about her in an unapologetic way…

My girl. I look at you and I am amazed at your zest for life. You live in a world of unicorns, glitter, and fairy dust. Where everyone is good and kind. You twirl about like a ballerina dancing your heart out in a dream of Swan Lake. Your giggles are like the warm rays of sunshine that burst forth with the promise of comfort on a cold winter’s day. Your energy is beyond anything that I have ever known.

In the bath… you swim with mermaids. On the lawn… you drink tea with princesses. In the house, between bedroom and kitchen… you walk the halls of castles. And in the garden… you explore all kinds of wonderful kingdoms. Always waiting to discover yet another adventure that leads you to princesses, and dragon slayers, and angels in the sky.

Yes, my sweet sweet child. I am simply amazed at the way you look at life. If only I could climb into that little bubble of yours and feel the fresh air on top of that beanstalk. Breath in the salty-sweet air on that pirate ship, and run with the wild horses across plains of tall green grass.

The excitement that pours out of you, the pure and utter glee that surrounds you. That my sweet child is a gift. In a world so dark and dreary.

So twirl a little more, dance on the stage of angels, lasso another dragon, and swim the tides with the mermaids.

I will always be sitting and watching, thanking you for making me believe in a world of goodness. Proud to be called your Mama.

So finally my girl, never apologize for being you. And – from tonight – I won’t apologize anymore either. For you bring so much joy. I may still want to “control” you a little, sometimes I may need to, but I will always admire you.