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Big Gifts in Small Packages


My parents made their annual cross country trek recently and have settled into their summer house. Their return was delayed several times due to COVID-19, and we are grateful they are finally here. After cautiously greeting them and slowly integrating our two worlds, we have found our groove. My parents extended an invitation to the girls for an overnight with them. My youngest has never had a “sleepover” without me and was thrilled.


My parents joined us for dinner at our house, and when the evening came to a close, the girls packed their overnight bags. As my youngest was sorting through what to bring, she quietly asked me, “If I get sad and miss you, is it okay if I come home?” I told her it was perfectly okay if she needed to come home. We talked about this with my parents, and we decided that if she started missing me, she could ask my dad for a hug to see if that helped her feel better. If that didn’t work then one of my parents would bring her home. I could sense her apprehension and excitement swirling around as they got in the car to head to my parent’s house. I had a feeling I would be seeing her sooner than later.


At about 8:00 pm, I received a call from my oldest, who informed me that my youngest was missing me. My youngest went into the living room to give my dad another hug. When she returned and let me know she wanted to come home. My mom put her in the car and drove her back to my house. I met them in the driveway and greeted her with a smile and a hug. After saying goodbye to my mom, we walked hand in hand into the house and headed to bed. We snuggled in, and she shared that she missed me, and she just wanted to be with me. I told her I was happy to have her here. She looked at me and got silent. I asked her what she was thinking about, and she took a slow breath. She then asked me, “Mom, are you mad that I came home?” I was surprised by this question and told her no. I asked her why she thought I might be mad, and she shared that I looked angry when she got out of the car. I told her I was not mad at all, and in fact, I was proud of her. I shared that she asked for what she needed and used her voice to advocate for herself. I told her that it made me so happy. She parroted back something I often say, “I listened to my body and said what I needed.” Then she smiled, and I snuggled her close.


It was late, and she quickly fell asleep. As she slept, I looked at her, breathing in and out so peacefully. I was in complete awe of this small being who trusted herself, her worth, her voice, and made sure the world knew what she needed. I stroked her hair and kissed her forehead as I laid my head on my pillow. What a gift she is to this world!


Messages to my Daughters: Never forget that you are worthy of all you need and desire in this world. Let your needs and dreams be known. Continue to use your voice and ask for what you want. Don’t silence yourself even if that is what you hear from the outside world. You are a gift, and your voice is a vehicle for you to share yourself with the world!


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