I sit here at the kitchen table, listening to you playing in your crib when you’re supposed to be asleep. But you can get away with just about anything these days, as I contemplate how quickly our lives are going to change when your little sister comes into our world.
Every ten minutes when you are out of that crib, you look up at me with your fountain ponytail dangling over one brown eye and pout out those lips. “Hold you,” you say. And I put down the dish or the broom or my book or my laptop, lifting you up where you can wrap your legs above my big belly.
You and I have had such a journey these past two and a half years. We have cried and laughed and giggled and painted our toenails matching pink. We have waded in the ocean and hiked until sweat saturated our temples (well, I hiked; you just rode along); we have splashed in the fountain and read a library’s worth of books, only to start all over and read them again.
How many diapers have I changed? How many hours have I spent training you to not need diapers only to have you stare at me through the toilet paper roll you treat like a telescope? How many nights have I sat up rocking you as your fevered body felt like a furnace in my arms? How many times have I kissed your dimpled knees and elbows, soothing away the imaginary “owies” that were really just another excuse to be held and for me to hold you?
There are a thousand and one moments such as this, a thousand and one memories I hope to entrap in my heart and mind: you calling me “Honey”; you dragging your blankie across the grass like a train; you acting like you have the strength to wrangle the leash of our akita, when I barely have the strength to do it myself; you playing so gently with your stuffed animals and dolls, insisting on “yotion” so you can rub their feet; you telling me “Good job!” whenever you barge into the bathroom when I really wouldn’t mind a little privacy; you patting and kissing my belly and saying, “Hi, sissy.”
I could continue listing until you wake up from your nap (for you are now quiet!) and still not cover everything that makes you who you are. You fill our house with such joy, little one, even when you wake up at 6:00 a.m. like this Saturday and call for me until I come and bring you to our bed.
I will never forget your blond curls spilling over the shoulders of your monkey pajama shirt as the two of us made waffles this morning. As the fog hung over the mountains and the fresh cut hay hung heavy with dew. I will never forget you wanting to help me by tasting the blueberries and the chocolate chips I was placing on the waffle batter. Or how you watched every move I made, waiting to duplicate it one day when you have a home of your own—when you have children of your own.
And I pray, for this reason and for so many others, that I do right by you. That in all your lifetime you will never once doubt just how loved you are, for though our lives are going to change in the coming days, my love for you will remain as constant and as unchanging as the moon.
I’ll love you forever, my daughter,
Your mother (or “Honey”)