I already knew that you would fall asleep with the adventures of one thousand stories floating around in your mind.
I already knew that I would let you, encourage you, make you get dirty.
I already knew that you would be kind-hearted and brave; that's why I chose your dad.
I already knew that you would both have brown hair and brown eyes. So it startles me sometimes when I look at you and realize how wrong I was.
I already knew how powerful a mother's love was; my own made sure I felt it.
I have learned that the most important gift I am giving you is how to do things for yourself.
I have learned that things get accomplished easier with giggles than struggles.
I have learned that, in a lot of the ways that are important, you are smarter than me.
I have learned how to be This Mama in This Family. Our differences are oceans and that's how it should be.
I have learned to look you in the eye, because you are always trying to look into mine.
I have learned that sometimes you feel afraid of the thunder, but sometimes you are outside dancing in it and that really has nothing to do with me.
I can't imagine what it will be like to wrap my arms around you when you are as tall as a giant.
I can't imagine how my heart will feel on that day that yours gets broken.
I can't imagine the moment when we drive away from you.
I can't imagine watching you hold your first child when you finally realize the amount of love that is possible.
This essay originally appeared on Mamalode.