Dear Sweet Girl,
Has it really been four years since you first entered our world? Four years since I held the heavy wetness of your small body against my own? Was it really so long ago that you transformed my entire world and made me a Momma? I can’t believe it.
And yet, I can. You’ve grown and changed so much in those four short years. We’ve come so far in that breath of time that it feels like an eternity since that first mid-night meeting when the quiet kiss of your sweet sleeping breath laid itself upon my chest.
In this past year, you’ve grown by leaps and bounds, transforming from a needy, emotion-driven toddler into a thoughtful, independent little person. This year has held more change than your young mind can comprehend. We moved twice, leaving the only home you’ve ever known, then the only friends you’ve ever known. For you, my tender-hearted child, I know this was tough. I know you ache for the familiar in a world that is always changing, one in which you may feel you have no control. But through it all, I’ve been amazed by the grace, resiliency, and open-heartedness with which you’ve approached life’s transitions.
In this way, you have become my tiny teacher.
You hold my hand as we boldly embark upon new adventures together, while simultaneously holding space to miss what we’ve left behind. You remind me that excitement and sadness can cohabitate in our souls as I’ve watched you learn to surf the vast waves of your own feelings. I’ve felt the open forgiveness of your heart as you hold me close and together we regain calm amidst the chaos. I’ve seen you grow into the most kind and caring big sister as you look at your little sister with delight, embrace her with gentleness, and never hesitate to offer her your helping hand, even at her most difficult moments. I’ve heard the empathy in your voice as you notice the sadness in the eyes of a stranger, remark on the frown on the face of a book character, or worry about the plight of bugs as they crawl underfoot. I’ve witnessed the curiosity of your mind as you work to solve problems and ask big questions about the world’s tough issues, that seem far beyond your years.
As you learn daily, and teach me endlessly, about the most important things in life, I never cease to be stunned with the innocence and pure joy you bring forth. The way you pick up an instrument and string together an original song of unparalleled beauty. The way you extend your hand with a soft touch to a loved one who’s struggling. The way your smile can transform your face and your laughter can transform my mood. The way you create a world of your own, crafting characters and stories using only your vivid imagination for entertainment. The way you make nature your playground – racing up trails and climbing over rocks and studying tracks in the snow – knowing that with a world this big and beautiful, there is no space for boredom. The way you pull at my hand with pleas to play and bring me back to the most important moments.
With all this change – as life marches forward and we inhabit new spaces and you grow ever-taller and always wiser – I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I miss what was. My heart mourns for the loss of your littleness, for that baby who is grow all too fast. Even on the longest days – the days when I can’t wait to kiss you goodnight and see those eyes finally close, the days when my ears ring with the constancy of your questions – even then, especially then, I gaze upon your peaceful, sleeping face – a face that looks exactly the same as the moment I first glimpsed it four years ago – and I long to hold onto your small self. I desperately want to embrace every fleeting moment. For I know you’ll open those soulful brown eyes tomorrow and you’ll be a little bit bigger, a little bit less of that baby I miss.
But as you rise, and I see how magical it is to watch you become more of yourself with each passing day, as I get to walk beside you as we grow and learn together, I know that this new moment is where we are supposed to be. So I hold in my heart a space for the baby that you will always be to me. I hold in my mind a vision of the limitless future that lies ahead of you. But I hold in my arms, in the depth of my body, you, exactly as you are today. Ever-changing, always learning, endlessly inspiring, sparkling eyes wide open, incredible YOU.
Happy Birthday Little Love!
Thank you for being you and loving me.
One response to “To My First Baby on Your Fourth Birthday”
You knocked it out of the park with this one, lady! So proud to know you and to share your beautiful writings with others. Keep writing——it’s your gift to the world.