Saturday, May 12, 2012

Letter to Lydia

My daughter never ceases to amaze me with the words that come out of her mouth. I've always seen her as an alien from another world that I am charged with introducing to this one. As I've mentioned before, I have a twitter account for her called Lydia_said. There I post her memorable quotes of the day. Today, she said off-the-cuff, "Mom, I love you. I don't want you to die, but you will." What does one say to that? We've talked about death before and she's still a bit obsessed with it. I know she thinks about it often. So I thought that perhaps I should write this letter to her  . . . in case. I plan on living until I'm in my 80s or 90s but I'd hate to leave Earth without writing a letter that she can read when she's grown, just in case.

My Dear Lydia,

What can I say to the grown-up you that you don't already know. You've always been very intuitive and understood things way beyond your years. You just turned 6 years old yet you are an old, wise, soul. I haven't censored you from the realities of life as much as I'd like because you seem to grasp concepts and life itself with clear understanding. I am amazed by your wit, negotiating skills, and persuasive arguments. One of your pre-school teachers advised me that you should become a lawyer. You definitely have the verbal skills, logic, and drive to argue your case and win. You often win. Mainly you argue reasons why you should have dessert after dinner. Just today, you made me dizzy and confused by stating all the reasons for having a chocolate treat despite having had two time-outs in school. Somehow, it made all the sense in the world and you got your chocolate, but mainly because I wanted some too. We love dark chocolate with almonds but tonight we had it with raisins, dropped it in a bowl of popcorn so it could melt over it, and watched The Addams Family Values, or as you call it, the film where the kids are mean to the little brother.

You love to cuddle with my arm around your neck and your head on my chest, but you're so wiggly that it doesn't last long. Before you know it, you're standing on the rocking chair attempting to jump onto the couch. So full of energy. Your bedtime is 8:30pm. You like to be read a book or listen to the iPod Nano I gave you with your favorite artists on it. First on your Favorites list is Michael Jackson followed by Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Rhianna, one song by Sergio Mendez and Wil I Am called The Heat. The last song is Vicente Fernandez's Estos Celos. This is the first song you sang at 18 months old. You were sitting in the high chair as grandma cooked in the kitchen with the radio on. You tossed your head back, closed your eyes tight and sang "Ahhhhmooooh". I was so proud because Vicente was my idol. I grew up with his songs and most importantly it said that you had that love of Mexican music inside of you. It meant something to me to have that be your first song. Coincidence? Maybe, but it warmed my heart. You still love that song.

I've always lamented that I haven't been able to take you to Mexico. There have been several opportunities every time we visit Texas, but the drug war along the border in Laredo have made me not want to risk it. I'm sure we would be fine but even the small risk is not worth it to me and it breaks my heart to not have you touch Anahuac soil, to visit the home of my grandparents or that of my parents which they still have there. I'd love for you to step on soil that cradles my aunts, uncles, and grandparents. They're all in the same cemetery in Rodriguez, NL. It's a small, dusty town, but it's home. I also need to be more diligent about teaching you Spanish. You claim to hate it but I know it's only because you don't understand it. It's my fault. I promise to try harder. I can't imagine you growing up not speaking Spanish. You do like Armenian and claim to know a few words your classmates taught  you. You learned Happy Birthday in Armenian in pre-school and can still recall some of the words. The more languages you speak, the better.

You also love dancing. You took a hip hop dance class in kindergarten and will probably go again in 1st grade. You were also in gymnastics but I took you out once you got bored with it. I think you'd still be great at it. Another thing that amazes me is that you love to make up songs. I can't wait for you to write your own. I've mentioned it to you but we haven't sat down to write just yet. You're very good at rhyming on the spot even if you have to make up words. In pre-school, you anguished over what to be when you grew up, a princess or a singer. I said you could be both but I don't think you were convinced. You often wonder who you're going to marry asking me how to buy a house and what exactly was dating. After explaining that dating is when a boy has money and takes you out to eat or a movie and spend time together, you said "Yes, I want to do that!" I rather enjoy your quest for knowledge of the working/adult world. According to you, you're ready to hit the stage and perform. You ask when will you get that opportunity. There is so much I have to do for you right now. I could fill up the whole week with activities and classes that interest you, not to mention karate. Bruce Lee is your hero "even if he never saved me," you proclaimed. You love watching Enter the Dragon. I mean really, you do. I get to stand back and allow you to be exposed to that which inspires you. I'm constantly in awe, shock, and impressed by these out-of-left-field surprises.

I have no doubt you will be successful and go on to have a great career, multiple-careers for that matter. I just hope I steer you in the right direction. I'm always taking cues from you. You never give up. You love what you do and do it with passion and confidence. I admire you for that. It gives me confidence as well. I know you will do what you love and not settle for anything else. I hope nothing on this planet ever destroys your drive. Things happen in life and sometimes people's fire get burned out and I will guard your flame with all that I am and all that I have. This I promise you and by the time you read this, I hope I didn't let you down. I love you.



  1. One of the things I miss most about my dad is hearing his voice. I know way, way down the road Lydia will be hearing your voice when she reads this and even though it will make her cry like nothing else, it will be one of her greatest treasures.

  2. Now I feel like crying. Thank you for putting it into perspective.

  3. What a beautiful letter. Thank you for sharing it. Your daughter will appreciate that you took the time to reflect in this way.