The Way That You See Me

Dear Katie,

You are at an age where you are becoming increasingly more aware that you and I are both girls. Of course, you’ve understood the anatomical differences between girls and boys for quite some time, but you are now growing curious about gender roles.

This morning, you took my hand and looked at me so intently and said, “You’re so pretty, Mommy.” And, Katie, I can honestly tell you that I have never felt so beautiful as I did in that moment, as I saw myself through your sparkling hazel eyes.

I catch you watching me sometimes and I realize that you are studying me and taking it all in. You are trying to learn what it means to be a girl. ┬áThere have been times when I’ve been talking to Daddy, when I could see you out of the corner of my eye, copying my mannerisms.

I have always known that it was my responsibility to teach you by my example, but now, as I watch you, watching me, I’m reminded of the weight of that responsibility. I can now see you learning and modeling.

I hope that I do right by you, my sweet Katie.

I hope that I teach you how to be kind, thoughtful, and respectful.

I want to show you how to laugh and live in the moment.

I hope that I can teach you to be honest, genuine, and open.

I want to teach you how to love others, with your whole heart.

I pray that the memories that we are making now stay with you for always.

Until just recently, the moments that we’ve shared have been building blocks–moments in which the focus was on providing you with tremendous love and a solid sense of safety and security.

But the memories of our mother-daughter relationship until now were mine alone.

It delights me that you’re at an age when bits of our experiences will stick in your memory.

And I want to make every single moment count.

I love you, Katie. I love you to lengths I never dreamed possible.



  1. TEARS!!

  2. @2bKate

    Crying buckets!!!! love this post!

  3. I think my ovaries just exploded

  4. They do copy our mannerisms and our words. I need to be much more mindful of that.

  5. ksluiter

    first, seeing the first words, "dear katie" made me jump…then I remembered KATIE not ME KATIE.

    So beautiful. And so true. Even Eddie, at his young age, watches Cort and tries to be like him. I try to model for him what a strong, loving woman looks like so that he will never settle for less or be tempted to treat any woman any less than he would treat his momma.

    Being a parent is such a huge, huge undertaking and responsibility.

    You captured that perfectly here.

  6. @MinimalMom

    I love this.

  7. lelisa13p

    Your daughter is so blessed to know how beloved she is and to be able to read these words for herself when she is older. I wish my own mother had been able to do this for me.

  8. Sherri

    I love this….my "little" daughter is 12 now, and you are dead right about that whole girls thing.I feel SO special if she tells me I'm pretty or my outfit is cute. I want her to respect me as a person, as a woman, as her mother. And I want her to respect herself, probably much more than I ever did.

    Stay patient, listen when she talks, and just be there. What a wonderful ride you are starting out! Great post…

  9. Cheryl @ Mommypants

    Unbearably sweet, Nichole! I worry that I'm not being a great role model. There are things I must work on..thanks for the reminder!

  10. kris

    This is such a sweet time.

    It passes more quickly than you might believe into another slightly less sweet time.

    In which your daughters use your example to demonstrate to you all that they will NOT be in this world. They reject you and they will be the opposite! So there!

    And then you have to keep your giggling to yourself, along with the words you so long to say.

    That they are exactly like you were as a rebellious child.

    That they are you.

    Happy sighs.

    Love you, Nichole.

    As always.

  11. Alex@LateEnough

    They are these little recorders. Parenting is such a humbling experience.

    Katie has a lovely roll model in you.

  12. Peggy Sheehan

    Katie is so lucky to have you both as parents. Like I've said in the past…I have no doubt that Katie will grow up to be a beautiful person inside and out..just like her mother.
    One more thing, don't be afraid to kiss, hug, and hold hands with Craig in front of the kids, because you are also teaching them what a good marriage is all about. My 23 yr old has thanked me & Max for teaching her by example what a happy marriage looks and acts like.

  13. 2old2tap

    Beautiful! My daughter is 27 now. I’ve tried to be a good role model. I think she’s done very well. Of course that’s my opinion. Now I get to watch her with my grandson. I think she’s a much better mommy than I was. It’s much easier to be a gramma.

  14. Beautiful. Again, this is why you're on my mommy-I-want-to-be list. Thank you for being MY role model.

  15. Julie

    I love this. If I’m blessed with a daughter, I would hope to teach her the same things. Beautiful.

  16. Nichole

    Happy tears?

  17. Nichole

    Thank you. :)
    Ava is a blessed baby to have you for her mother.

  18. Nichole

    I am so looking forward to the day when it's your turn.

  19. Nichole

    They really do.
    Some of Katie's favorite phrases, like "Oh my goodness sakes," are phrases that I use all of the time. It makes me laugh to hear her repeat them.

  20. Nichole

    And you are doing an excellent job of it, too, Katie.
    Eddie is so fortunate to have such a lovely, intelligent, funny, and strong mother.

  21. Nichole

    Thank you so much.

  22. Nichole

    I always worry that one day she'll turn to me and ask me for her baby book, which sits empty at the top of her closet. I just never got to it and now it seems too late. I'm hoping that the words that I've written here are enough to make it up to her.

  23. Nichole

    I am so afraid that I'm going to blink and Katie will be 12. Or 20!. Sigh.
    Helping them build a strong sense of self is one of the best gifts that we can give our girls, isn't it?

    And thank you for your advice. I love hearing from mothers who are further down the path than I am. Please keep it coming!

  24. Nichole

    I have a list of things that I'm working on, too.
    And that's probably a good thing, isn't it? Because if we lead them to believe that we don't make mistakes or have flaws that we're working on, how will they ever feel that they can confide in us or live up to our expectations?
    This parenting thing is tough. Lovely, but tough.

  25. Nichole

    Thank you, Alex. That means a great deal coming from you.
    And, yes, so incredibly humbling.

  26. Nichole

    Thank you, Aunt Peggy.
    Seeing you and Uncle Max together is an inspiration to more than just your own children–you inspire me as well.
    Kiss, hug, and hold Craig's hand? There's little I'd rather do. :)

  27. Nichole

    Thank you.
    If she's doing a wonderful job, then I suspect that you did as well. :)

  28. Nichole

    Thank you so much.
    I have areas that I'm still working on. I plan to share some of them soon.
    Hopefully, you'll still like me. ;)

  29. Nichole

    Thank you so much, Julie.
    When you have children, they will be as blessed as you are.
    You have such a lovely, tender soul. You'll be a wonderful mother.

  30. Maryline

    Beautiful letter to your daughter! I hope little boys also tell their mom "you are beautiful, mommy".
    I guess he will have to start with "mommy", I'm still waiting for that one.

    Katie is a lucky little girl, your words are bleeding of your love for her.

  31. Nichole

    Merci, Maryline.
    Vous êtes un jolie amie.

  32. Maryline

    Bravo, je suis très impressionnée :-)

  33. Tonya

    Precious! Katie is so lucky to have you as her mommy. xoxo

Add a comment

(required, won’t be displayed)

About this post