This wonderful, beautiful, intelligent, thoughtful little girl came into my life about 14 years ago and like a mother owl, I just wanted to wrap my wings tightly around her and keep her safe. I love all five of my children dearly, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that the relationship my youngest and I have is a truly special one. I had already learned so much about being a parent by the time Daisy came along and I didn't make the same mistakes with her that I did with my older children.
There is such a thing as spoiling a child with love without raising a spoiled child. Daisy was never the type of child to throw a fit to get her way or beg for something she wanted. I still remember when she was about one and a half years old and we took all five of the kids Christmas shopping. As we strolled through the toy department, Daisy came upon a very large teddy bear that was at least three times her size. She pulled it off the bottom shelf where it sat and hugged it like it was an old friend. "Mine." She said. Julian tried to reason with her that it was just too big, but she held onto it.
"Okay." Julian said to Daisy. "If you can carry it all the way to the front of the store, you can have the bear, baby." Daisy smiled widely and stumbled off with her prize. It must have taken us an hour just to get to the front of the store. All of our older children tried to help Daisy with the bear, but she held it closer and refused their help. She would go a few feet, walking blindly as she hugged the teddy bear and then tumble to the floor - cushioned by that big, over sized stuffed animal.
When we reached the checkout counter, Julian proudly picked up the teddy bear and handed it to the cashier. Daisy waited patiently while our purchases were rung up. We put Daisy in the buggy with her big bear. She ran her tiny little hands over the soft, fake fur and smiled sweetly at her Papi and me.
Seeing my children grow is a beautiful experience, but letting them go as they become young adults is so very hard. I know I cannot keep Daisy from experiencing everything - good and bad - that life has to offer. I know that Daisy will do wonderful things in this life. She has always been up for a challenge. When her Papi promised her that bear if she would only carry it to the register herself, she met the challenge. Even as a toddler, she would not take the easy road. She could have let one of her siblings or her father or me carry the bear for her, but she kept her end of the bargain with her dad.
Last year when my son, Julio went back to public school, he was constantly telling Daisy that she should go, as well. I told Julio to let Daisy make that decision on her own, just as he had made the decision for himself. I knew when she did decide to do it, she would tell me. So, my precious little Daisy has decided to go to public school this year and tomorrow will be her very first day of high school.
I am so proud of the little girl that God blessed Julian and me with. Daisy reminds me of Julian in so many ways. She is kind and thoughtful and never speaks a harsh word towards anyone, just like her father. Just like Julian, Daisy is passionately loyal to those she loves. And like Julian, when Daisy sets her mind to do something, she does it.