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Your life is your own, my darling. In the conversations with myself that go on in my head, I often reiterate that the sovereignty of my role as a parent lies in learning to always consider your life not as mine but as the full expansion of your own—one from which I should, for the best, unhurriedly tiptoe out of. And I find it fascinating.

Since you were born, I have been learning to curb the expression of my deepest feelings when, in fact, everything is so exponential. I adjust so you can be free, so the lava within me doesn’t ultimately stifle or constrain you. After all, the unconditional love I have for you is mine alone, and I share it with you in my every gaze and gesture. Still, you know how much I love you. I want you to recognize that your life belongs to you, that you should never be told you can’t understand because I believe things should be explained to you, even three-year-old you. I want you to rely on the instincts that spread such joy around you.

With Maman Ge, I share the delicious responsibility of raising you—the rich flavour that makes us, us. Not that different after all. With your caring older brother, your devoted older sister and their father beside us. With your admiring grandparents, our inspiring and thoughtful friends and their precious children. They are ALL our family, our vibrant garden. It is a privilege to be part of it, in such collective happiness.

As a parent, I am filled with I hope for you that gives way to I believe in you infused with time flies. Larger than life, the whirlwind makes me feel so alive and so proud.

Feet reassuringly on the ground, full heart brimming with wonder and good intentions and still my head firmly on my shoulders, I want to thank you. This experience is by far the most gratifying I have ever known. Frankly, I didn’t know where or how these lines would end. Life just doesn’t seem long enough to say all there is to say.

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Words: Émilie Summermatter
Photos: Romy et Émilie Summermatter

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