Today you are eleven years old! Happy Birthday my dear precious one!! You are a beautiful young lady, but more beautiful on the inside. What can I say about you after eleven years? You have stepped into the big sister role remarkably well and are the best big sister to Eleanor. She so loves and adores you too. I’m so thankful she has you for a role model and I can’t wait for you to be able to drive in just 5 short years so you can get her to all her things! You help me with anything and everything when I need it. You are a good friend and are always considering their feelings and how your actions will affect them when you have to make decisions.
At this stage in life, you are still dancing the ballet shoe, as Eleanor would say. I think this is your 8th year of perfect attendance in ballet. You are a beautiful, graceful dancer, and over Christmas break, you received your pointe shoes. That brought you great excitement and pride. You decided to stop gymnastics after 5 years, and that’s ok. Not everything is meant to stay with us forever. Seasons come and seasons go.
You are an excellent student, receiving many compliments from teachers. In fact, you’ve never not made the A Honor Roll in all your years so far. You always strive to do your best and that makes me very proud. Heck, all of you makes me very proud.
You are funny, weird, and a bit goofy at times, when you let your hair down. You spend your free time with friends or on the computer; playing Roblox, scrolling Pinterest or watching YouTube. Please be careful with your device time and try to keep it in check. It can really become an addiction and a wedge to relationships. You love Harry Potter and books that involve fantasy, but I do believe you’ve outgrown all the things of childhood fantasies in real life.
You are one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me and I am honored and grateful to be Mom to such an amazing person! Keep being you in these next few years, especially when everyone will want you to change to fit some mold. Although at the time it will seem very important to be in a certain crowd or to fit in, in actuality its a very short number of years of your life and you will find you place and your groove and be exactly where you need to be. Don’t take life too serious (you might be prone to do that). Make time for fun & play & always know how very much you are loved by me. I am here for you always and forever.
You are one year old! Which means I have succeeded in keeping you alive for an entire year. Whew! You may think I’m kidding, but I’m not. You have not been an easy one so far. It has been the hardest year of my life, actually. Between your falls, clumsiness, crankiness, sicknesses and demanding nature we have made it! There is a reason people have their children young, Not that I would ever know but can imagine, instead of when they are nearly 46 years old. It’s easier, I suppose. But you are here and have a mighty purpose I know. This is all God, baby. You are His. He wants you here and He wants me as you mom. I question Him daily, I really do. I have not fully accepted my life yet. I know, I know. You are here to stay, but you are still just a shock!
I’m kind of hard on you, and I need to lighten up. You really are a good little girl. My expectations are too high and I’m working on that really. I need to slow down, soak you in, savor each and every moment. You would think that I would know how to do that, but in actuality, I think it’s because I feel like I’m running out of time, that my life has been put on hold for now, and there’s still so much to do here. So much I want to do here. Honestly, I don’t feel like I’m doing a good job with you right now. Forgive me, sweet girl, and know that I love you so much and want the absolute best for you. I’m trying to be better.
You are so smart. You are beginning to understand our conversations and you try so hard to say the words as well. You’ll get there, I’ll get there, and it’s getting easier to communicate. You can understand practically everything I say and if I say let’s go take a bath, you head straight to the bathtub. You love your bath time. You can throw your diapers in the trash (along with things you shouldn’t), you are learning to put puzzles together, you love, love, love your books and it’s one of the few times you actually sit for a period of time.
You love people. I think you’re going to be an extrovert, we’ll see. You can be so tired, cranky, and irritable, but when it’s time to go bye-bye and we get around others, you are all smiles and waves. You have people smiling right back too. You have the toothiest, cutest little smile and you truly light up a room with it. You love to give big hugs and give a little grunt on the end of one. You blow kisses and love your family so much. Oh! And you started saying mama! I don’t think it is directed to me, but you can finally make the mmmmm sound and it’s so sweet sounding to my ears.
Sleep is so improved! I am so proud of you. We finally got into a rhythm and you just might be the kind of kid who thrives on a schedule. I’m going to try to remember that. It goes against every fiber of my being, I am more of a free spirit, but you definitely benefit. You’ve been sleeping 7-8 hours through the night now and are taking two pretty good naps each day, all in your own crib! Hooray! It’s amazing what a little sleep can do for you and me both! To think of it, you might be a free spirit as well, but function better with scheduled sleep!
We had a little family party for you and you had a blast. We practiced blowing out your candle, but you didn’t quite know what to think of that flame. We had presents and your dad made you a chocolate cake, which you loved squishing your fingers all in and eating up. Your Grammy Jo, Buddy, Uncle Chad, Uncle Steve and his family, and us were all here to sing to you and shower you with loads of attention and love. You got a slide and immediately learned how to crawl straight up that thing. You also got some fun toys and new shoes and socks, and a toothbrush for those seven pearly whites. You went to bed worn out.
I’ll be taking you for your one year check up next week and I’ll update your stats, but I think you are weighing in around 20 lbs right now. Your hair, which has stuck straight up on your head all year, is finally beginning to lay down and it has quite a bit of red in it too. You’re just a little beauty. You’re just a little wonder. I am thankful you are here to teach and guide me to be a better person. I love you so much and I always will. Never ever forget or doubt that.
Hey there baby girl, you are 10! I can’t believe it. I have yet to get super emotional on any of your birthdays. You know I’m not too emotional anyway, but this one gave me a run for my emotional money. I got a bit weepy, a bit teary. I’m just in awe of you and the beautiful ten years you have been in my life. They have been the absolute best and I would never ever want to do it again any other way. I also am slammed with the realization that time is passing so quickly and kids grow up and these years will soon be nothing more than a memory.
I didn’t write you a birthday letter last year. I am sorry for that but I was in survival mode. It was a bit of a crazy time. You turned nine and I was 38 weeks pregnant with your little sister and just trying to throw you a party and not go into labor, and get everything else ready in case I did. This year, I’m wondering to myself how many letters will I write you? I began writing to you your first year of life, month by month to document the milestones, then it changed year by year, and here we are ten years into it. Do I stop? If so, when? I mean you are old enough to read these now. My plan has always been to print them out and make you a little book, but now I’m questioning when? I guess I will carry on for now and we’ll just see.
This past year has been crazy and beautiful and at times quite awful for us. You have spent the past year in the shadows of your sister, Eleanor who was born 11 days after your 9th birthday. Don’t think I haven’t noticed that you’ve not gotten the attention that you were accustomed to. Don’t think I haven’t been aware of the change in our family dynamics, our time together, our relationship. Eleanor has been so demanding of my time, my presence, my energy, my everything. And yet, there you’ve been; ever loving, ever patient, ever gracious, ever kind. Never a squeaky wheel. Adjusting to these new changes and loving your sister so very much. Helping me when you can, and being the most beautiful human I know.
Having a baby sister appear on the scene 9 years into life has been one thing to come to grips with, and to add to that you lost your Grandy this past October. I know that has been difficult. You don’t talk about her, but I know you miss her and your Friday night sleepovers with her. I know you don’t want to feel sad, but please know that it’s okay. Feelings are so very important. We cannot go through life without them and they are the glue to humankind. All of us experience emotions. The situations may be different, but we all will know the feeling of grief and sadness at some juncture, and it is the common thread to what enables us to be able to connect to one another, to understand each other and to be helpers when others experience those same feelings. It’s a beautiful thing to have loved someone so much that you miss them so greatly. So please don’t ever be embarrassed or ashamed of your tears. It just means you feel deeply, that you loved greatly, and that you were greatly loved. Your Grandy loved you so much. You were her very special girl, her heart and her soul, she prayed for you before you were born, and I don’t know if I can ever articulate what you meant to her. Take the best parts of her with you, her big love, her generosity, her adoration of others, and let her love carry you forward in life. You have such a life ahead of you!
You didn’t want a party for your birthday this year, so we had a few friends come over to celebrate and spend the night. You and your girls had a fun time with lots of little girl giggles. You have some really great friends and you are a positive impact on so many as well. Always be the kind girl you includes everyone and you will never be short on friends. Remember the people you surround yourself with impact your life in a large way. They can take you up or bring you down, so choose wisely.
You are still in ballet and gymnastics and you are awesome in both. You are a graceful ballerina, who can actually keep time, and in gymnastics you can do 6 back handsprings in succession. It is pretty amazing to watch! You are a super student, always trying your best and setting goals for yourself. You are a fabulous big sister, full of love and patience and fun, and you are the best daughter I could have ever hoped for. You will always be on a pedestal in my eyes, Emma. No matter what. That doesn’t mean you’re perfect, and you never have to be, (don’t think that is what I mean), but you are perfect in my eyes because you are mine. My daughter. I pray you always see your worth. I pray you always know what you mean to me. I pray you always remember that there is nothing in this world that is too terrible that with love, family, God, and help you can’t overcome. Always know you can come to me for anything, anytime. I will be here to help, support, cheer, cry, laugh, or anything else the situation needs. I’m here. Always.
To my sweet ten year old, it won’t be long until your wings are ready and you will take flight. I cherish each and every day with you. Let’s make lots of more wonderful memories together!
Happy 11 months my little darling daughter! I’m combining these last 2 months since I didn’t get an opportunity to write to you last month. Life is busy and you, my dear, keep me hopping! I honestly don’t know how the time gets away where I can’t even find time to blog, but it sure does. Mostly the days are spent fixing you something to eat, fighting you to stay in your high chair, cleaning you, the high chair, and the floor after feeding you, watching every move you make so you don’t hurt yourself, picking up the cat food and water so you don’t spill them, then putting them back down because the cat is meowing about them being put up, holding you while you sleep because you won’t sleep more than 30 minutes by yourself, picking up all the tupperware and various items you’ve dragged out of the cabinets so you can drag them out again, and then I fix you something to eat because it’s already time again, fight you to stay in your high chair, clean you, the high chair, and the floor….you see the pattern don’t you? Rinse and repeat.
You are a fun loving little blast of a baby. You are very curious, very smart, and very much on the move. You began walking already! You took your first real steps at 10 months and 3 weeks after taking a couple here and there. But girl, you are accident prone. You truly need to learn cause and effect (and fast) so we can be spared many bumps, bruises, and tears. I can tell already, you’re the kid who is going to be on the top of the jungle gym and in the trees. I was a tree climber too and spent many of my best days stretching my imagination in the branches of some beloved trees.
I started taking you to the chiropractor to see if it would improve your sleep, so that’s a new experience for you. We began sleep training at the end of December and that’s a new experience for me. It’s not terrible, it’s not great, but we’ve got to get some sleep around here and your mama is at her wit’s end about it. You’re getting the hang of it. I’m the one who needs to be patient with you and not expect overnight miracles.
You really are so fun! If it wasn’t for you, somedays I wonder if we would even laugh, but you are constantly cracking us up with your antics, faces, babbling, and overall cuteness. You are a people person, and we just don’t know how to deal with that since the other 3 of us really aren’t haha. But you love people. You interact with strangers in the stores when out and about. If someone isn’t paying attention to you, you do the cutest head tilt their direction and make sure they look your way. Then you give them the cutest toothy grin. You crinkle your eyes up and you get a little nose crinkle too. You have a little dimple in your right cheek. You are just adorable. And that’s the truth!
And smart! You watch everyone and everything they are doing. You can take lids off markers, unscrew lids off bottles, you understand everything we are saying even if you can’t tell us yet, and you copy behavior (good and bad). You are very vocal, yelling and telling us stories all day long. You make all the sounds except the m, I swear it. I don’t think you’ll ever say mama. Ha! I know there’ll come a day when I wish you’d stop saying mama when you’re driving me nuts. But we’re not there yet, so go ahead and get it out.
You’re my little buddy, my joy, my playmate. We have so much fun playing, dancing, singing, and loving each other. I will love you always and forever, as long as I’m drawing breath. Always know that. Never forget it.
This letter is very delayed, as we have lost a very special person to us. Your Grandy, my mom, passed away on October 5, and we buried her on your 8 month birthday October 8th. Your momma has been overwhelmed with sadness, questions, and busyness and although I have never forgotten about you for one second, it has been hard to find the time to write you a letter. Your Grandy called you Elly. She would say I have my Emmy and my Elly and she loved you so, so much. You will grow up not knowing her, but I will try to keep her memory alive for you. She was a spit fire, much like you. She was loud, much like you. She was fearless, much like you. She loved big, and she loved people, much like you. She was so happy you were here. She had prayed for you and prayed for you, that’s what she told me. And in fact, the very last voicemail I have saved from her on my phone, is her calling to check on you when you were sick last month. When you’re older, I’ll show you a video of you and her. I’ll show you a video of when I told her I was pregnant with you. I’ll let you hear her voice as she called to check on you. But for now, we carry on. That’s the cycle of life. We lose life and we gain new life and it is truly a beautiful thing that we experience while we are here on this earth. It’s not something we ever want to think about, but you will experience losing your mom too. Hopefully it will be a long, long, very long time. Having you at my age does make our time together much shorter, it’s just our reality, but we are going to embrace it, live it up, and relish every day we have together! That’s what we’re doing so far and we will keep on finding the happiness, joy and love on this side of Heaven. I’m so happy you are here. You and your sister keep me going. You both are who I live for, and you occupy my mind and my time during this season of grief.
This month, you gained 2 new teeth on top. You learned how to crawl properly. You began eating table food mostly. Your hair sticks straight up and you kinda remind me of a Fraggle, haha. You’ll have to look that up someday. You give the best expressions ever and you are absolutely the cutest! You have the chunkiest little legs and you are healthy and happy, and I think God for that.
You are still such a busy little girl. A full time job. Full of life. You are not afraid to be heard. You let people know what you need. You are observant and very smart. You are a grabby little thing and your dad said you would make a good pickpocket you are so sneaky and fast about it! You are pulling up and trying to navigate around the furniture, but you are so wobbly someone has to be with you constantly. You do not sleep as you must be afraid you’ll miss out on something. You hurt yourself numerous times a day and you must have the hardest head of anybody around by now. God bless you. You’ve taken 2 really big tumbles and you usually have a bruise on your head or face. You are a bit overambitious, trying new stuff before you are ready. You have learned to point your little finger, click your tongue, and now clap and patty cake. You think it’s great to learn new things and you practice them for several days and then just stop and find something else to do. You absolutely love your bath time and when I lay you down, you kick and kick and kick until your face is covered from the splashes jumping up on you. Outside is one of your favorite activities and you are usually very pleasant when you are outside.
You are just a joy, my little love. You will keep me young that’s for sure. You are here for a reason and a purpose and I can’t wait to see who you grow into. I am looking forward to so many fun adventures with you, my darling. New memories are to be made. I love you more than you could ever know.
You’ve been blessing our lives for more than 7 months Eleanor and we think you hung the moon! This month has been quite an adventure for you. Unfortunately, you had your first really bad sick spell and got Covid. It really knocked you back for several days and had us very worried. We were all sick and if you weren’t sleeping, you were crying and it was just so, so hard. So hard. I had just decided that was how it was going to be from there on out. That you were a miserable grouch and there wasn’t anything to do but tolerate it. That I would just have an unhappy child who grew into an unhappy adult. I was sure glad I didn’t name you Joy, because you were anything but. You’ve got a real optimistic mom, don’t you? It was the virus, it just zapped us all.
But you finally got over your fever, pulled through the old nasty virus, and lo and behold, a smile reemerged on that sweet face of yours and it hasn’t left it yet. We were all relieved when you turned the corner and it helped us all get better. You have the sweetest smile, and you have the cutest little smirks too. You have a twinkle in your eyes and a mischievous disposition.
You pay attention to everything and are observant to your surroundings, whether it’s watching someone walk through the room, hearing a car pass by while outside, or listening to the clock chime. You usually stop what you are doing to check it all out with your big eyes.
You are not crawling yet; this month has been spent with lots of love and snuggle time, but you sure are wanting to stand up. You are trying your best to grab our legs and pull yourself up and if we are holding you, you are standing in our laps. I can’t wait to watch you grow and learn.
You have the sweetest little laugh that’s more like a cough than a laugh and you are super grabby, taking hold of everything and anything you want before we even know what’s happening. You had your 7 month sticker pulled off and wadded up in your mouth faster than I could say licketysplit. You are starting to eat more and lately are loving avocados and potatoes.
You’re a little busy body, but man we are so glad you are and are so happy to have you back to your old self. I can’t believe you’re already 7 months and these next few months are going to be so fun, I can hardly wait! We love you so very much, little one. Thanks for coming and choosing us!
You are now six months old! What fun you are! You are growing by leaps and bounds too. At your doctor’s appointment, here were your stats: you weighed in at 16 lbs 13 oz. They said that is about the 70th percentile in weight. And you measured 27 inches long. You know what they said? They said you were kind of tall. That you are in the 90th percentile for height. I laughed and asked them if they have seen your parents? I’m really feeling there was an error here somewhere, but I’ve been wrong before. If you turn out tall, it will be an unexpected surprise for sure! Time will tell, and you are uniquely you.
No matter, you are truly perfect in every way and are bringing everyone around you such joy. You went on a trip this month. It was your first really long car ride. You didn’t really love traveling and got awfully tired of your car seat. We went to visit your aunt, uncle and cousins up in Farmington NM. We took a little trip to Durango, CO where you took your first hike in the mountains. You absolutely loved that mountain air and the beauty around you, especially when you got out of the carrier and rode on your dad’s shoulders. You like it when you are bigger than everyone. You do love outside, that’s for sure. Each day we go out and sit in the shade so you can watch the world moving around you. You also made your first visit to the waterpark with your sister and some friends. It was fun to sit in the kiddie pool and let you splash. Next year, I might not be able to keep up. You do enjoy the water and bath time is one of your favorite activities.
What else is new with you? You have 2 pearly whites on the bottom, you are sitting alone, you are scooching backwards when you are on your tummy and turning a full 360 learning to move around. Crawling is right around the corner. You love to stand up so we got you one of those Johnny Jumparoo things that hang in the doorway. You jump and jump and jump in that thing. We also put you in a walker since you love to stand and you jump in that too. You just might be part jackrabbit.
This isn’t new, but you truly love your hands. You have the cutest mannerisms of holding onto your left thumb or putting your thumb down on a surface and twisting your hand back and forth, you bite the tip of your little thumb, press your little thumbs together, and this isn’t new, but you are practicing your pageant wave. It is so cute how you wave at everything and everyone! Side to side, like a little beauty queen. You reach, grab, hold, and pull on everything. Your hands work hard all day long.
You get really excited for your books and this makes your momma’s heart happy, because I love books too! I am trying to raise you as a reader because the sky is the limit then. You love when I sing Two little blackbirds sitting on a hill, one named Jack and one named Jill. Fly away Jack, Fly away Jill. Come back Jack, come back Jill. Sometimes you use your little sweet fingers and fly them away too. You are trying out new foods now. You like dinnertime with the family and are learning how to open up and we are practicing drinking from a glass, which is not going so well I might add. But you’ll get it! You are enjoying pumpkin, squash, and bananas the most for now.
Your hair still stands straight up in a fuzzy little halo and is the most darling, comical thing I’ve ever seen. You are just a doll baby and are a happy girl. You laugh out loud and smile. You have a funny sense of humor and aren’t a bit inhibited in your movements or your voice at all. You like to move and you like to be heard. You talk, yell, and cry loudly. You are a little busy body and you love life while learning and exploring all the things your body can do and the world around you.
You are loved so much. The English language does not hold the words adequate enough to express how loved you are by your family. You are keeping us on our toes and reminding us about fun. Emma said you are discovering goofball island (from the movie Inside Out). It’s a fun place to visit. We needed you to take us there again. It’s good for us. You are good for us. We are so glad you are here!
Another month has come and gone and you are still fabulous! Listen kid, time is flying. I will tell you from experience, that most of your life, it will seem like the seconds, hours, months, and even years are passing at a snail’s pace, but when you get to be my age, you better hold on to your hat because there is no holding on to time. It is a beautiful thing actually, and such a gift. Some people say time is a thief. But don’t believe that. It is really how you look at it. Just cherish each moment that you are given, sweet girl. Make memories and recognize that beauty is in the everyday, ordinary doings of life.
We sure are cherishing each moment with you because we know how quickly you grow, and growing you are! You are a bundle of JOY! You smile at practically everyone, and laugh very easily. I have the feeling you already love life and I hope you always will! You are not always sunshine and unicorns, though. You can flip a switch and be as mad as the dickens and we’re usually caught saying “what happened?” There’s also times, you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Like when we lay you down and you don’t want to be put down, so you start to cry, and then you see our face and it makes you happy, so you start to laugh and then it’s all very confusing to you. Emotions can be tricky. And you have some big ones already. You also have a very serious face you wear, and it seems like you are always thinking. You are a very observant baby, watching and looking and studying.
You really enjoy outside, and the weather is so nice this summer that we spend a lot of time out there. I take your little bouncer seat out and set it under the oak tree in the backyard. You love to watch the leaves dance in the breeze and you study the shadows jumping around. Some of your other favorite activities are your bath where you splash and play and get a little bit out of control at times, and you love to lay on your changing pad and get your diaper changed. It’s like your happy place.
You’re super cute too! Most people say you look like your daddy. Your eyes are definitely turning brown and your hair is the best! It is fuzzy and super short and you look like a model for a 4 year old’s drawing. The way they just put a bunch of spikes on top of the head for the hair. That’s how you look! You even have about 3 longer hairs right up on top that love to stand at attention. It’s adorable.
This month you found your little piggies and they are so fascinating to you and you learned to roll from back to tummy. But you can’t get yourself back the other way yet. It’s a little bit out of order, but you go ahead and do it your way baby girl! You are wanting to get places on your tummy and your using your legs and pushing off to try to get going. You are practicing sitting up with support and can sometimes last as long as a bull rider, the one who drew the rankest bull out there. All these skills are keeping you busy, but not enough to wear you out. You still think sleep is overrated, and you love to nap for about 30-40 minutes and then you’re ready to go again. We won’t even talk about nighttime sleep. Let’s just say it’s not your favorite. I have to remind myself that “this too shall pass”. That’s good advice about a lot of situations in life, sweet girl, so remember that!
You’re doing big things, baby! We love you so much and are so very happy you are here reminding us how precious time is and how BIG love can be!
Happy 4 months to you my precious second born baby girl! Time is flying by and you are keeping your mama very busy. Wow, what a game changer you have been in our lives….in the best way possible. Sometimes in life you can’t really know what you’re missing or how badly you might need something (or someone) until they come crying into the world on a cold Monday morning in February. You were born smack dab during the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the whole world to lose their minds. You were a scheduled C-Section and due to hospital protocols, your daddy wasn’t going to be able to be in the OR and was going to have to watch your birth via IPAD from the hospital room. But just a few days before you were scheduled to be born, they pulled that requirement and he was able to be right by my side and there when you sounded your first cry. The doctor pulled you out and said “We have a strong one”, but I already knew that! You had been a mover and a shaker inside me the entire pregnancy and you have not stopped since. As a matter of fact, at your 20 week scan, the technicians remarked right away that you were going to be a hard one to take pictures of. During the scan, you were all over the place. You are a very active baby, super alert, always looking around with those big eyes, which by the way are a bizarre color right now. They started out as a dark gray and are just now beginning to get some more color to them. I’m sure you’ll be a brown eyed beauty, but time will tell. They might be hazel, or an lighter shade of brown.
Your hair is dark, and very short! You lost most of your hair in the past few months and were a cute little baldie for a while. Now, it’s beginning to fuzz back out, and it looks like it may have a bit of auburn to it. You have skin as white as cream. My first reaction to you was that I couldn’t believe how white you were! And still are. Your grandy said she wants to call you Snow and asked if that was okay. I told her it was a lot better than tub o’ lard which she had just called you minutes before. You are not a tiny thing anymore. You were just a little sprite when you were born at 6 lbs 12 oz. Everyone remarked about how tiny you were. You looked like a little baby doll with the most perfect head and creamy white skin, sleeping soundly most of the time with your little eyelashes resting on your cheeks, but boy did you catch up quick. I think you’re weighing in around 14 pounds right now, wearing 3-6 months, which is just perfect! Shortly after birth, we discovered that you had a tongue tie so you had that corrected at 3 weeks old. Immediately afterwards, you found your voice and haven’t stopped hollering since. Another nickname you affectionately have been given by me is Yellin’ Ellen. Oh man, you love to talk. You coo, sing, growl, yell, and loudly at that! You are so happy most of the time. You are all smiles to everyone, and you have begun to laugh and giggle. No one can get you to laugh as much as your sister Emma Kate. Sometime all it takes is a look, and your eyes crinkle up and out comes a great giggle.
What are you up to these days? Let’s see. You rolled over a few times from tummy to back and then decided that wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and haven’t rolled since. You love to work your legs though and try to stand with help of course, whenever someone is holding you. You suck on your hands all the time and you’re beginning to love that thumb a little too much. The binky is not your favorite and you thrust it right out. You have begun rolling on your side when your on your back. You can hold onto things for a little while before dropping them and are starting to just reach for things some. You love your bath and lying on your changing pad. You can end up nearly across the room when lying on the floor on your back. You arch your back and straighten your legs and scoot backwards a pretty good distance. And you have a remarkable talent of pooping right when it’s time to leave to go somewhere and I’m running late already.
You have many nicknames. So don’t you dare get in trouble with the law, because your aliases will take up most of your rap sheet. Some people call you Eleanor or Ellie or Ella or Ellie B. Grandy wants to call you Snow. A friend of Emma’s wants to call you Little Fawn because your birthmark on your forehead is shaped like a deer head. Sometimes you just go by Baby, and I like to call you Joy. You are the joy in our life, the joy in our hearts, you are bringing Joy to everyone around you and you are filled with Joy. You are heaven sent, little one, there is no doubt that God is playing a hand in this one. You arrived to us after 2 miscarriages and at the ripe old ages of 45 and 47. You are nothing short of a miracle. I may not know your purpose for coming. I may not ever know your reason for joining us, but we are so joyfully blessed to have you and are loving every loud, active second we spend with you!
This was a lot to cover I know. There is probably not many things stronger than mom guilt and I have felt real bad that I haven’t written a letter to you yet, like I did Emma. I wrote each month of her first year and then every year after that on her birthday, up until this year, since I was eleven days shy of birthing you, and I found myself not doing what I’d intended to do. You see, I was the fourth born of four kids and I know what’s it’s like to have an empty baby book. So even though as your mom, I will fail you many times, please don’t ever ever equate my failure with a lack of love for you. You are loved more than you can ever know.
We have an unspoken agreement that you may not be aware of yet. And that, dear one, is that you’ve got to go easy on your old mom. I can’t wait for our fun and adventures and each day I get to spend loving you!
Another year has come and gone and it’s all I can do to to keep my head from spinning. I can’t help but realize that we only have 10 more to go before you strap on your wings and soar.
I read one of the most profound statements that said something along the lines of, “the greatest tragedy of motherhood is for her to love her children so much, that she must teach them to not need her.” That wasn’t it exactly, but it was very close, albeit, expressed much better than that. But in essence, that’s what we’re doing, you and I. I am trying my best to allow you to grow independent of me. I want that very much for you and at the same time, I don’t want that at all. What a paradox it is.
For eight years you have been the light of my life, the sun my world revolves around. “They”, you know who they are…..the so called experts…..say it isn’t healthy to make your child the center of your universe, but I can’t see how knowing you are the Big Kahuna in my life could be bad for you. You are my greatest work. Like Charlotte when she referred to her egg sac, My Magnum Opus. You, quite possibly, could be my purpose on this earth. When I think of my purpose, I imagine I should do something outstanding. Something that could impact mankind. It’s very possible that you are my something outstanding. You are to me, anyway.
I often remember our past. The last few years that have gone by in a blink. It is fun to watch videos of us and see photos and remember the feelings of fun and curiosity and growth that enveloped that time.
I often think of our future together. The trips we’ll take and the experiences we are to share. I hope we always have a strong relationship and that you can come to me for anything knowing I will always love you, no matter what.
I try very hard to just be present in our present. This is all we have. I find myself getting through “tasks” just to move on to the next “task”, when I should be relishing our moments.
At eight years old, here’s how you are: you are nice to be around, simply put. You have a great wit to you. You are generally always in a good mood. You are not demanding or pouty in any way. You are curious beyond anything I’ve ever known and I have been exposed to more random, useless facts because of you. Your dad and I call you Cliff Clavin (look it up) and just shake our heads with your sudden announcements of “Did you know………”. You love learning, like you always have, and you are very interested in maps and places, as well as science. As long as the science doesn’t involve the body. Anything bodily gives you the willies and causes some sort of physical discomfort for you to read or hear about it. You must get it from your Grandy, who can’t stand anything gross. Or maybe from me a little bit too, as I’ve nearly fainted at the sight of blood before. It’s actually quite hilarious how just reading The Magic School Bus Inside the Body makes your hips hurt. I’ve known all along that you weren’t possibly cut out for a career in medicine, when as a toddler you used to gag at the smell of your own poop!
You are mostly quiet still– unless you’re around your parents–an observer of people and things, who doesn’t like the spotlight or to be the center of attention. You still enjoy dance and gymnastics, but you’re not afraid to stay at home and do nothing either. You are fiercely independent, but never rude. You are truly the greatest kid. Your dad and I say it often. “She’s such a great kid.” I’m super proud of you and always will be. May you be surrounded by goodness and love and guidance all the days, my dear sweet child. You are loved.