This past weekend we were surrounded by your family and friends that love you to help celebrate the beginning of your third year of life. I was honored by their presence and am always in awe of the amount of people whose lives you have touched at such a young age.
Our family has been going through so much this year with serious health issues, loved ones passing- including the four-legged type, general stress and just life. Yet the one bright spot in all of this is YOU. How can a little one such as you make such an impression? With infectious giggles, a 10,000 mega watt smile, kind words and a hug- that’s how. I’d love to be able to take 100% credit for this but half of that also goes to your Daddy and then we also have to share some of that with the rest of the village that helps to raise you. But you ultimately are the one who processes what we share with you and then constantly amaze us with your humor, wit and intelligence. I know that you are thinking that’s what all parents have to say about their kids, but I have to disagree. You really are the best daughter anyone could ever hope for- and you are only THREE. I cannot wait to see what you do with the rest of your life with all of that charm! (that, you get from ME!)To say that all of us rely on you for our happiness means that you have a mighty big job- one that you are completely oblivious to, yet you perform it so well. Before you came earth side, I had no idea what being a mom was going to be like. I thought mostly about sleepless nights, diaper duty, cleaning up puke from my work clothes, and trying not to get a headache when you cried incessantly. And that was after the labor and delivery that I was PETRIFIED of. Wow, could I have been more wrong. What I didn’t realize was the immense amount of love that I would have for you the second that you were born (I won’t even hold it against you that I didn’t have time for an epidural) and that I would stand in front of a train for you.
I think that I’ve had more sleepless nights in college and now, but not because of you, just because of life and trying to balance everything. Diaper duty ended a few months ago- but I have to admit that your Daddy changed way more Huggies than I did however, I don’t miss those days. (Well, just a little when I had time to gaze into your beautiful copper eyes and tickle your little feet…. Changing time was really a bonding time. You weren’t a squirmy girl. And in fact, you were very easy going about the state of your diaper.) You didn’t really spit up on my clothes- you were a clean girl; however, I can do without your very trigger-happy gag reflex; I have cleaned up my fair share of toddler ‘spit out’ (as you call it) rather than baby regurg. And you aren’t a crier, never was. Such an easy going, sweet girl. Thank you for giving me a swift kick in the ass and changing my perception of motherhood. (Your Grandma Linda was right that God wasn’t going to give me more than I can handle…. Well, with you, yes; with all the other shit, not so much!) Even with labor- it was over so quick…. But, my dear, it isn’t true what they say, I haven’t forgotten the pain of the delivery- that’s another story. But you were worth every single little 45 second increment; and worth the four-year plus wait that it took to have you.I can write forever and rave about your sweet personality and marvel at the stuff that comes out of your mouth. It’s totally adorable (that might change in 13 years, but I’ll always have this to look back upon) and entertaining. I’m not sure how you got to be so smart- you keep us on our toes, but your comprehension also makes our life easier. On that note, don’t ever be afraid to be an intelligent woman. Your beauty will get you noticed but your intelligence will help you accomplish whatever you want. Don’t be afraid to be successful. Today you’re tackling 100-piece Princess puzzles and learning how to count in Spanish; tomorrow it will be quadratic equations and SAT vocabulary. (Do they still give you 200 points for spelling your name correctly?)
You also love people. People love you. From Nick at your swim school; your little friends; to the grocery store clerks, you will dazzle them with your sqwunchy smile. These people right now are nice; not everyone is. We will teach you how to differentiate between good, honest people and to listen to your intuition if you think someone is icky. I wish that I could shield you from the crap, but I won’t always be able to completely (but not from lack of trying!) but we will teach you how to overcome obstacles and adversity with grace and confidence and how to have a support team around to help you as life won’t always be easy.
Trust me, these past six months- outside of this house- have been hell on earth. Emotionally I am done, but I see you and I am reenergized. You give me hope on what the future holds for us. I love watching you experience things for the first time- a carousel ride, trick-or-treating, fireworks, the petting zoo, a piñata, new food- it’s really cool. And then you also have gotten to see sadness when your Grandpa Jerry died and Grandma Helen was very, very sick. Everybody cried…. You gave us hugs and kisses and asked us if we felt better. I’m glad we have been honest about our feelings and shared with you that it’s a part of life and doesn’t have anything to do with you. You have become so empathetic and caring. Perhaps not ideal to have to share this much sorrow with a toddler, but it’s real life. I think it helps you to see that sadness doesn’t last forever and it’s okay to smile behind the tears. Thank you for being our little ball of therapy!See, I could go on and on about all of the reasons why I love you so much. There are 400 million of them, if not more. I promise you that will never change- except to grow exponentially more. All I ask is that you be true to yourself, that you are kind and honest, you use your manners and help those less fortunate than you. Daddy and I will in turn protect you as best as we can, provide for you opportunities for you to grow and love you unconditionally. You may not always ‘like’ us, but know that we will always have your back. (When you don’t like us, it’s time to call in the grandparents….)
I want to close out by simply thanking you for making me a better person. I feel more, love more, hope more and smile more because of you.
With All My Love,