Friday, November 2, 2018

A Love Letter to My Littlest


"There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One is roots; the other, wings."
               - Hodding Carter

For Tot's first birthday, I wanted her gifts to bring meaning to her life as she grew. She was the first grandchild for both of our families, and I knew that love would be cherished, but may not be around forever. Life is so precious, and yet so short. I don't know where this crazy adventure will take any of us, but I always wanted our sweet girl to remember how loved she was from the moment she was born onward.

Instead of gifts, I asked each of our family members and close friends to write her a letter. Letters filled with whatever thoughts, wishes, and hopes they had for Tot as she grew into a beautiful young lady. Each letter will remain sealed and tucked away until she turns 18, at which point she'll be rewarded with the best gift of all - sweet notes of love from all those who loved her so dearly when she was so young and beyond. The loveliest of letters from my grandparents really mean the most to me and I'm so grateful each of them has taken the time to document their love for our little girl. I know they may not be able to see this little butterfly blossom into a little lady, but having those words of encouragement and love will mean so much to her. It was the simplest of gifts I could give her, but the one that will mean the most to her little heart of gold.

With all that planned, I realized that now that Tot is two, I still haven't written my own letter to my sweet little Anais. How unfair of me to have all of our friends and family jot down little notes, but I haven't taken a moment to do one myself! So, today I want to share with you my love letter to my littlest that will make me cry big, ugly crocodile tears when she opens on her 18th birthday..

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Dearest Sweet Pea,

Since the moment you arrived - you have been a true beacon of love and understanding. I know everyone says this, but being your Mama has honestly been the greatest honor I've ever been gifted with. You have this uncanny ability to make us laugh at just about anything and truly bring so much joy into our lives. The obstacles we've faced since having you have only reminded us that you were a true miracle and one of the most precious gifts I'll ever be given. Our angel babe we will forever be grateful for.

Not to get all mushy on you, but I still distinctly remember the nurses placing you on me and it was absolutely surreal. I couldn't believe that this little 6lbs 8oz baby girl was mine. For so long, I wasn't sure you'd be a possibility. If this mom thing would be my calling. But, the second they laid you on me, you nuzzled close and I knew you'd be my little angel for forever. It was such a beautiful day in San Francisco when you were born. I mean, the sun was shining and the breeze was whistling - it was pure perfection and I'll never forget that sensation. Just like I practiced all those mornings with Cosette, I remember bringing you over to the window and showing you the Bay and the beauty that was California. No matter where we call home, you'll always be my sweet California babe.


Then came the sleepless nights. Oh, the sleepless nights. Those nights where I got to sit in your little room holding you were so special in hindsight. I wish I would have cherished them more, singing you Blake Shelton songs in my terrible voice and rocking you back to sleep. You always fell asleep with your little fingers wrapped in mine and no matter how exhausted I was, I felt content knowing that you were safe and sound in my arms. The calmness I felt during those nights and still feel when you wake up not feeling well or scared at want your Mama - those are things I will always hold dear.


Little one, you were determined to fly through every stage of life at warp speed. I barely had a moment to catch my breath once you were sleeping through the night and next thing I know, you were crawling around our little apartment. I'll never forget walking through our apartment door after a long day of travel to see you crawling to me. The tears I cried. I didn't even know it was possible to be so proud of such a little babe, but I was oh so proud of you. You were only 6 months old. How was this possible? Where'd my baby go?



From that moment onwards, it was hard to keep up with you and your Daddy and I quickly realized our small San Francisco apartment wasn't the right place for you to grow and blossom. We knew you deserved more and so, we quickly put in place some plans to find us a home. A home we could call ours - where we would spend our days baking in the kitchen with all your friends around the table giggling away. The smell of delicious pecan pies & biscuits sifting through the house, and we would always remember how much love  and joy this home would hold. And, before we had a moment to process this move - we found a perfect house. A yard big enough for a swing for you to sway on, with friends all around that would always put a smile on your face. It was finally a home to call our own.


And, oh the walking! I don't know even know how this happened so soon. We were playing together in Tahoe in a little playhouse. The two of us being silly, just like always. Laughing at how goofy we were with all these fun new toys and before I could even reach out my hand to help you move around, you stood up and walked over to me. I didn't believe it. I moved back a little more to see if this was real. You were barely 10 months - how could you be walking? And, gosh darn'it you were walking. I remember calling your Daddy into the playhouse to show him. With tears in our eyes we finally realized our little girl was growing up...if only we knew this was the first of many milestones you'd surprise us with and remind us that time is fleeting and it's important to soak up every minute we can.


Fast forward to today, you're 2 years old and flourishing. So much has happened since your 1st birthday, but that's for another letter and another time. No matter where this journey leads us, the love and light you have brought to my life is indescribable. I never thought this whole "mom life" would be for me, and boy has God showed me how wrong I was. Being your Mama is the best job I've ever had and I've had a lot of cool jobs over the years. I never knew how much a little person could mold your life, but you've shown me so much patience and love on the best and worst of days. Your my person and I'm so glad you were sent down to me. Keep your creative soul flourishing and never stop singing along to all the songs that bring you joy. Your sweet voice is the best melody I've ever heard and I can't wait to hear it for the rest of my life.


Let's always hold hands, dance like crazy, and zap those scary monsters together. Let's cry over the things we can't change, but smile knowing there's always a better tomorrow waiting for us. I'll always be one call away.

Love you, baby girl.

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