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Marlowe is 5

Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday

Marlowe Mae is a WHOLE HAND!!!! And I truly can’t believe it.  Five feels old to me, this year, and I feel like our sweet, spirited baby has grown leaps and bounds, even in the last few months. I’m always emotional on my children’s birthdays, but today I feel awestruck right along with it.  Sometimes I look at my daughter and I can’t believe I was lucky enough to get her sweet soul as a Mama.  I like to write my kids little tributes on their birthdays, and this year, I thought I would start writing them as letters to them that I can keep and print to give all together later on.  Here is this year’s, for my not so little girl…

Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday

Dearest Marlowe,

Happy, Happy Birthday! Five: the most beautiful, eventful, and life-changing chunk of years I’ve ever had– and all because you made me a Mama.  The past few months have been so special with you, I feel you’ve grown up in all the best ways, and I know you can see me noticing every change.  When I tell you how big you’re getting, you immediately put your arms around me, whispering to me that no matter how big you get you’ll always be my baby.  You always know just what to say– you have a wiseness and an emotional intelligence beyond your years, and you’re always trying to make everyone around you feel loved and happy.  I hope you are always celebrated for this gift, and I hope that you always remember to direct this love and attention inward as well.  You deserve happiness, comfort, and care as much as anyone else.  

I’ve been loving our conversations recently.  I’ll get a surprise daily that quite frankly knocks my socks off: a saying rolls off your tongue that I didn’t even know you’d ever heard before (used perfectly in context, of course), you raise philosophical questions you’ve been thinking about the world, or heaven, or outer space– or I watch you delight in your little brother in the most tender way, free of judgement or jealousy– and I wish for one moment that I could be just a little more like you.  When people tell me that we are alike, I politely thank them and smile, but in my mind I think: “If only! Oh what I would do to be more like this fierce, beautiful, sharp little tack that inspires me so.”

The other night at bedtime, we were talking about life, death, and heaven.  Your topic choice! LOL.  You’ve been asking me a lot about when I die, and wondering how we’ll find each other again, or talk to each other.  I always remind you that I’ll always be with you, no matter where I am.  But that isn’t enough for you, how could it be? You said to me “Mama, I’m going to miss you when you die. How can it be that I won’t be able to see you and feel you?” I told you I will see YOU and feel YOU, my baby, and that will be enough.  It will be enough to make you feel it too.  Then you said something that I’ve been thinking about ever since:  “Mama, before babies come down from heaven to the Mommy’s tummies, I bet they are held up in heaven in the arms of all the people who we love who passed away.  And they give that baby so much love, so that when the baby is born and the mommy and daddy and brothers and sisters hold the baby, they can feel the love from heaven, and they can feel the people who they miss who are passed away.  Is that what happens?” I told you that is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever heard.  It really is.  Marlowe, you open my mind and my heart to so much beauty all the time.  You help me see the “special” in everything, and the voracity you have for information, for understanding, and for truth is truly contagious.  

If I had to describe you in one word, here it is: Free.  You are the most free in spirit, free with your love, your joy, your anger, your energies.  I envy your inherent freedom…I am in awe of it.   I realized five years ago, as I lay with you in my arms, staring in to those big beautiful eyes for the first time, that my greatest lesson of life would be learning to let you go.  I’ve been practicing for five years, and though I’m far from perfect at this (we Mommies always get the lessons and children we need most to learn), I have finally realized that my job is not to contain you, to tether you, or to teach you my own ways.  I see and feel you as a bright and burning star, orbiting faster and faster, through spaces unknown, spreading light– eyes open, heart open, the most fierce and tender soul.  I will not obstruct you, my amazing girl.  Never.  I am here always, my heart connected to you…my north star.  Let me be your gravity, if you need me.  I will never leave you.  I will always be here, in admiration of everything you are, and of all I know you can and will be.  I know there will be times when I’m not perfect at being there for you in exactly the right way, and I know there will also be times where you stray from the best versions of your true self.  It happens.  Let’s forgive each other.  Then, afterwards, let’s go on an adventure.  

I’m so excited to celebrate you today! We love you, we delight in you, and we are so lucky to call you our girl.  Happy Birthday, baby. 

Yours,

Mama.

Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday
Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday
Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday
Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday
Marlowe Martino holds balloons on the beach in Connecticut to commemorate her 5th birthday

photographs by Julia Dags

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29 Comments

  1. Laura says:

    Excuse me while I go wipe the tears that are streaming down my face. Just beautiful, Eva. What a gift you are to each other. Happy Birthday to your ray of sunshine!

    08.09.19 Reply
  2. Jessica says:

    This is so beautiful. Way to bring me nearly to tears first thing in the morning!

    08.09.19 Reply
  3. Mary says:

    Happy birthday to sweet Marlowe!!! May she always have excitment for life and an independent spirit! And you Eva, please put a warning the next time, like “emotional mothers beware” or something, I thought I would read a sweet letter from mother to daughter and you got me crying hard while reading this! I didn’t see it coming LOL!!! You have put it all so well, it is so important to let kids grow and be their true selves and shine with what they are.I wish you always be proud and in awe of your big girl 😉!!!

    08.09.19 Reply
  4. alejandra says:

    full on ugly-face crying right now. i felt this letter in my heart and soul. my son turned 3 a few weeks ago and hubs & i also write him a letter every year. you are both SO very lucky to have each other. i wish for your bond to only grow stronger with each year that passes!

    08.09.19 Reply
  5. Kirsteen says:

    Just beautiful! Reminds me so much of my own fierce and funny little girl. This week, she did her first session in ER as a final year medical student. It was harrowing and heartening and she dealt with it, showing the same strength and kindness and fierceness she has had all along. I’m in awe of her, just as you are with Marlowe. Wishing your lovely girl the happiest of birthdays, and thank you for letting us share in and delight in this wonderful girl.

    08.09.19 Reply
  6. Nikki says:

    Oh Eva! I am in awe of your words, they brought me to tears. I have always admired your relationship with Marlowe and the love you have for your children is so evident. They are lucky to have you as their mama. I wish Marlowe the happiest of birthdays and hope you have a lovely time celebrating her!

    08.09.19 Reply
  7. TJ says:

    Hi Eva,
    This is so wonderful. She will treasure this.
    The greatest gift I have ever received is a letter my Mum gave me on my 21st birthday she wrote on the day I was born. How much joy she felt, her hopes and dreams for me but my favourite line was the one about how my father cried and it was the only time she has seen him do that.
    What you are doing is beautiful.
    TJ x

    08.09.19 Reply
  8. Lisa says:

    Absolutely beautiful 💜

    08.09.19 Reply
  9. Julia Krowiak says:

    Eva-

    This letter brought me to tears! So beautiful and such a wonderful tribute to your daughter. Thank you so much for sharing!

    08.09.19 Reply
  10. Laura says:

    Writing this as I wipe the tears from my face…a beautiful tribute to your girl. What a wise and sensitive soul she seems to be! And that part about the babies and heaven? I agree, the most beautiful thing I’ve heard💗💗 Good job, Mama

    08.09.19 Reply
  11. Irina Visan says:

    I am not crying, you are!
    Happyest of birthdays Lowie!!!! All that you wrote shines so brightly through any social media filter. Her amazing spirit is so obvious even from afar and it’s nothing I’ve ever seen. I hope she has a lifetime of happiness, health and joy and that she always stays true to her unbelievable beautiful awsome self!!! She’s one lucky girl to have you as her guiding mama.

    08.09.19 Reply
  12. Megan says:

    Reading this brought tears to my eyes! What a kind, sweet, spunky and wise soul she is! Wouldn’t this world be a better place if we all stole a page from her book? Happy birthday, Marlowe Mae!!!

    08.09.19 Reply
  13. Brandie says:

    OK so maybe add a disclaimer at the beginning of these posts to grab tissues. This is beautiful! Judging from the content of your post, it sounds as if Marlowe is actually more like you than you may realize. Of all of your content EVER….this is my favorite!

    08.09.19 Reply
  14. Tania says:

    Such an inspiring and endearing letter for Marlowe. When I read about your upcoming birthday letter for her in your instagram stories, I wouldn’t have expected to feels some tears from my eyes… Even though I’m not a Mama, I can feel the love and bond one may have with your kiddos as years go by.

    Beautiful way to celebrate one more year of new adventures for her and for you.
    Greetings Eva!

    08.09.19 Reply
  15. Brenda says:

    What an inspiring beautiful letter! Seems to me that she is just as lucky (or blessed) to have you for her Mommy. My youngest grandson turns 5 in February, and I, too, am amazed at this gorgeous sweet little boy who warms my heart daily.

    08.09.19 Reply
  16. Eva, While I wipe my eyes 😭 this is the most beautiful letter I have ever read. Thank you for sharing. I will never forget this. Happy Birthday Marlowe 🥳👑💐☀️✨🎂I Hope you have the best day ever!!! Hugs Robyn

    08.09.19 Reply
  17. Rachel says:

    OMG… sobbing. What a beautiful letter to a beautiful girl. Happy birthday, Marlowe!

    08.09.19 Reply
  18. Lisa says:

    Well….. I regret reading this in the lunchroom at work 😭😭. What a beautiful letter! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    08.09.19 Reply
  19. Zoe says:

    My heart just caved in. Beautiful letter ❤️

    08.09.19 Reply
  20. Michelle Anderson says:

    I’m dead. BEAUTIFUL letter. Her theory on babies coming down from heaven is beyond. She is very special. Thank you for sharing.

    08.09.19 Reply
  21. Olivia says:

    This letter is so touching. You are both lucky to have each other. Marlowe is the cutest and I’m not surprised she’s a Leo, August babies are the best. Your conversation about heaven was beautiful. Happy birthday little Marlowe!

    08.09.19 Reply
  22. MICHELLE says:

    Beautiful! Happy birthday, Marlowe. How lucky you are to have each other.

    08.09.19 Reply
  23. Jennifer says:

    Oh my heart. Thank you so much for sharing your letter to Marlowe. My son is a month younger so he’ll be turning 5 soon. I remember when he turned 3 that I was fearful of 5 because that sounds so old. They’re not babies any longer.

    Happy birthday to Marlowe and happy birthing day to you!!

    HUGS!

    08.09.19 Reply
  24. Courtney Castner says:

    That took my breath away- so beautiful. Happy birthday to your “forever baby”.

    08.09.19 Reply
  25. K martin says:

    Beautiful letter to your baby. Thanks for sharing her with us!

    08.09.19 Reply
  26. Amy says:

    This is so beautiful. Made me cry. You are such a sweet mama..you are both very lucky to have each other 🙂

    08.09.19 Reply
  27. Ariel says:

    Wowza-thanks for the ugly cry!😂❤️

    My baby boy is turning 2 next month and this got me good! Phew!
    What a beautiful tribute to your sweet girl! Happy Birthday Dear Marlowe! You are such a special light! 🍭🎂 👧🏼

    08.09.19 Reply
  28. Chandler Fitzpatrick says:

    The tear jerker warning from your IG post was most helpful in preparing me to engage with this gorgeous letter!

    I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting you and don’t truly “know” much about either of you. Still, it is so clear to me that Marlowe is an extremely special child and that your bond and relationship are truly remarkable. You’re each such wonderful and one of a kind people, and as you highlight here, you both inform her growth and are part of the audience who watches as she developes and flourishes in her own way and of her own accord. I understand your relationship as a very spiritual one, and after reading this I can understand why – aside from what I’ve noticed in you, I think you’ve also got one heck of a spiritual child in your family!

    I’m eager to keep following your journey as she grows and develops further into the being she already is and yet still, will become. I wouldn’t put it past her to raise all of these things based on things she has learned or her natural curiosity and inquisition, which happen to be ridiculously beyond her years, which is to say that what follows is not meant to diminish any of the work and growth she has accomplished! However, I feel as if she may have some extrasensory or psychic knowledges or abilities driving some of these other-worldly discussions. I say this as a psychic person. I raise it to encourage you two to explore together, if you wish, in the future. I was fortunate to begin coming to know about my psychic capacities as a teen – when I told and helped to learn about and develop some of my skills from a mentor at that time – and can only imagine if I had known even sooner! Because we live in our own bodies, we can struggle to know which of our experiences and abilities are typical or atypical, and sometimes it takes being told or abruptly bumping into knowledge or signs promoting the notion of “could ___ be present here?” to realize what you’ve already been working and living with. I always knew I was unlike the bunch, but the subtleties and atypicalities of psychic knowledges/abilities are easily naturalized or missed, especially when they’re simply how you’ve always expeirenced and understood the world around you!

    Another thought, which is somewhat tied to this, is that you might be intrigued by what you learn if you read up a bit about ‘twin flames.’ I think Marlowe is absolutely your twin flame, and this can help explain an aspect of your uncommon and amazing relationship and bond. Again, of course, I’m well aware of some of the active work you do to build your relationship, and to be ever-growing as the mother she needs for the person she is (in addition to already being ‘the perfect fit’ for her as the mother you naturally and intuitively are). I do not mean to diminish that, by any means, and it is plain incredible to witness and learn from you in how you raise your kiddos!! And yet I think we can both agree that there’s something unusually magnificent and rare about your connection with Marlowe, and there always has been, and its unlike any other connection in either of your lives, and aside from your work in many aspects of parenting and relating with her there’s also that unique piece/aspect which has always been there without ever working for it and which is in and of itself just so darn special, beyond measure. That’s the piece that the notion of twin flames relates to. It isn’t about your souls merely being buddies, or being extremely similar or polar, etc.. Twin flames tend to have aspects of both of those dynamics, and often just where they are needed as you mention in your letter here, to allow them to understand each other, connect, learn from each other, promote growth in one or both of them in different times and capacities, balance each other out at times and bump up against or repel each other at others, and much more. But in the simplest terms, and laid out very clearly in your letter here, being someone’s twin flame is about belonging on life’s journey with them – living in relation to this other being who is just so uniquely, inexplicably, and inextricably tied to your own journey.

    You are absolutely correct in explaining that you will always be with her, in general, and your status and relationship as twin flames is not discontinued when one leaves the physical world in death. And as an aside, my Mama who died when I was 4 1/2 has been engaging with me and parenting me from the other side for years – she is able to be present, comfort me, and even help me to make life decisions and show her pride in the things that I do – so as you mention here, her ability to see me, to feel me, and to love and guide me has been enough, and I have known it and felt it and been able to engage with her. If Marlowe knows how to ‘catch’ what you give to her and how you relate to her, which I’m extremely confident in given what she can already seemingly connect with, exactly what you’ve told her about what will happen when you die is true, from my perspective! Same goes for her knowledge of how babies come – I know with that psychic you-just-have-to-trust-this certainty that my niece Darby’s sweet soul was hand-picked and fiercely loved on by my Mama, and others who have passed on, before making her way down here to us. Reading all of this in your letter, I was so shocked by what she knew, hence being so eager to explain my perspective in case it resonates with you. But back to the twin flame thing…

    The notion of twin flames is completely separate from your role as a mother in that it just so happens that your kid is your twin flame. Accordingly, it has no bearing on your relationship with your best guy, Major (sorry Kyle!). I am not suggesting or prompting you to consider that one child is more special to you or closer with you than the other, or anything like that. Those are matters of your role as a mother and of practical relationality, whereas the twin flame stuff is about spiritual relationality.

    Reading this letter, knowing how loved and supported your daughter is, and learning about how you think and feel and love her as her mother, was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve had. You’re one killer Mama, and a hell of a writer. Thank you for choosing to share this with us, and please know that sharing in your joy, and imagining and thinking through some of my own questions of a mother’s love for her child, was an incredible experience. Thank you, so, so much for the gift that you gave to me today.

    Congrats on five years of parenting! And I wish a very happy fifth birthday to Marlowe!!!!

    08.09.19 Reply
  29. Trixie says:

    So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing! I love Lowie! I always think of ‘nothing baby’ at least once per day. 🧡

    08.09.19 Reply