As part of my partnership with LILLEbaby, Fabes and I are participating in the #LILLEloveletters series. I’ll be writing to her on different themes throughout the year. For this first installment in the series, the theme is “Love.”
Dear Beautiful Girl -
What can I write to you about love that hasn’t been written a thousand times before?
You are teaching me, every day, the width and breadth and depth of love – the limits it will stretch toward, the tired way it laces your hair through my fingertips after a long day of toddler battling, the ache it anchors in the squarest center of my chest, the wounds it is carving on my soul.
We speak of love as though it were an independent thing, a wonder that forces itself on us and comes and goes at whim, a fickle magic that cannot be cultivated or captured. We speak of love as though it turns the world easy, the days giddy, the months short, the years golden.
I want to tell you a different love story, tiny beautiful girl. I want to tell you that love is the bravest thing, a stubborn thing, the grip of strong fingers onto precious arms, a steady voice humming lullabies while hurricanes swirl overhead. Loving you is the most natural thing I’ve ever done, and also the hardest and most impossible, because love opens us up to loss and fear and the tension of living with something we long for. Loving you means allowing my heart to break in my chest when you cry, or hurt, or rage. Loving you invites your pain and makes it my own. Loving you sacrifices a piece of me, gives it to live and ache and die and mourn with you. Loving you means I no longer belong only to myself.
Love makes us vulnerable, for we are made of breakable stuff – we are beautiful mistake-makers who betray and hurt and fail. I will fail you, more times than I care to, and we will fall apart and fall back together, but let me tell you this: Loving you is the best work I have ever done, that I will ever do. Loving you is so much more than worth it.
Love is our battle cry in the broken places. It is the bravest thing, and the hardest, and a fierce and mighty weapon against the forces that would rob us of each other. Love is a conquerer, and it is yours to choose, to cultivate, to celebrate, and to give. Love is the way we belong to each other, the way we carry each other, and the thing that carries us. May you love with ferocity, beautiful girl, with reckless grace, with wild abandon, with all of your heart.
And I will whisper to you, as I have done every night since the night you were born:
I love you bigger than the sky
I love you deeper than the sea
I love you wider than the world
I love you taller than the stars
And you’re my best girl.