I want you to know that I love you more than anything, and you mean the world to me. I’m sorry that I have all of these health issues that don’t go away. I wish every day that I could get better, because I know it’s very hard for you to understand sometimes.

When I dreamed of motherhood, I saw grand adventures and magical experiences, and I never thought my body would betray my efforts to make those things happen. Now you have started dreaming your own dreams and my limitations are keeping you tethered to a reality that your peers don’t understand. I wanted to show you the world but I can barely even take you to the playground, and I am so, so sorry for that.

I want you to know that I think you’re amazing. In spite of my limitations (or maybe because of them), you are truly one of the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. You’re kind, compassionate, loving, helpful, and hundreds of other wonderful things, and I couldn’t be more proud of you.

Together, we have grown and learned and adapted. You and I have worked out all kinds of creative solutions to my limitations, and as a family for the most part we are a pretty awesome team.

I know on my bad days, when I can’t control the pain and fatigue and whatnot, I yell for pretty much no reason. It makes me feel terrible and I apologize right away, but all I can do is say thank you for understanding and promise I’ll keep trying harder not to let my illness give me a short temper. It is NOT your fault and please try to remember that I love you when I get like that.

I don’t care how much it hurts my body, I will ALWAYS give you a hug. I can put a pillow on my lap, something to protect me a little, and I will snuggle the dickens out of you no matter what. I know you’ll be growing out of that eventually, so this is your open invitation. Bring a book or pick a movie, we’ll travel to unknown worlds without leaving the bed.

I will never know what type of mom I would’ve been for you, had chronic illness not entered into the equation. Knowing me, I can see an overbearing, controlling, helicopter mom, so maybe this is for the best. You’ve got a certain level of maturity and independence that I don’t see in most kids your age. You impress me every single day, and I’m so thankful for the joy and love that you share with the world.

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