My Dearest Michelle

My Dearest Michelle,

It has been a little while since I last wrote a love note, much less a love letter and I find myself at a bit of a loss on how to start. I know that in our day-to-day lives I tend to withhold praise and adulation, but I do hope you know that I hold in you in very high regard. I know your life has not always been easy and the more I peer into your past, the more I wish I could go back in time and protect you, tell you of the wonderful woman you will become.

Now do not scoff like that my dear, do not roll your eyes either, but your blush I shall accept because it is quite becoming upon your cheeks. You are a wonderful woman, you grew from an obstinate and spitfire child into a steely woman of passion and conviction. It warms me greatly to see you gird yourself and step up to a fight with a set jaw and determined eyes. You stand by your beliefs and give no ground on issues you know are of great importance.

Your strength is perfectly matched by your intelligence. There is nothing you cannot learn once you put your mind to it. Remember in undergrad you were awarded a small scholarship for your brilliance and dedication to Earth Science. You are excellent with numbers and budget – yes you need a calculator to help with the actual math, but you manage percentages and budgets easily. Your thirst for knowledge is entrancing. When you truly engage with a subject you lean into it and ask the most penetrating questions. It is that complete focus that ensnares me every time. To be the sole recipient of your focus and attention is gratifying, flattering, and addicting.

When you claim someone as yours, you learn them like a new textbook or subject upon which a test is impending. You gather little nuggets of information, squirrel them away, and then at the most unexpected moments, use them to show your lover how much you care. What you make hard though, is for me to really know what you like, want, and need so I can do the same for you. Oh, I know you are not deliberately hiding yourself from me, my dear, but that it is in your nature to hold back pieces of yourself. You tuck these pieces so far away and in such clever places that you forget where they are and sometimes even what they are. I hope we have many years yet to discover all of your hidden places and the treasures within.

Enigmatic, mischievous, devious, and at times sly, there is nothing like watching your smile after you have done something particularly devious or gotten away with something naughty. There is an irrepressible light inside you that can flicker down on bad days, but most days brightens up everything around you. You are like a little changeling, swapped at birth and raised by humans with no capacity to understand your fae impulses. Light-fingered when it comes to your lovers’ clothes and terrifyingly trusting, you give me a heart attack every time you catch my eye and say “catch me.”

If you are breathtaking and stunning in your independence and defiance, you are achingly beautiful in your vulnerability and moments of neediness. Stop that, do not clam up, yes, you can be needy, but that is not always a bad thing. When you step into my arms, hide your face in my shoulder and try to disappear into me, I melt while my hear hurts. You open yourself up so wide, with such idealistic hope, and it pains me to see that openness betrayed and abused. What I hate the most is when I am the one to let you down and trample on that trust, no matter how unwittingly. I cannot promise that I will never let you down or break your trust, but I will promise to make it up to you each time I fail, to build our trust up stronger each time I break it, and to never make the same mistake twice.

Yes, my dear, you are not perfect. No one expects you to be perfect, but you. You can be frustrating and infuriating, and sometimes it feels like you will never learn how to let go and trust yourself, but I am watching you and I see you pulling yourself up every time and failing a little bit better each time. You will never be perfect, but as long as you promise to be authentically you with me, I will always love you and accept you – imperfections included.

I love your fond exasperation. I love how your eyes and nose crinkle when you smile. How you always bring at least one stuffed animal with you whenever you overnight anywhere. Your collarbones. The fact that you meow for entire conversations. That you make time and space for your friends. How you both accept and bemoan your silver hairs. Your feminism.

Thank you for always being you.

All my love,

Michelle

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