I thought the words from the other day were enough, but no. Because it was a year ago today when you became clear.
It was a year ago today that I was stuck in a battle of wills between you and a nurse. Oh she was so mad I wasn’t waking you and feeding you. But how I would have loved to! I was a breath away from being locked away for torture but you slept on through. As the nurse gave up and declared me unfit due to letting you “starve” I realized within a matter of days that you’d be the baby I needed.
My baby who could sleep through her brother screaming bloody murder as your daddy tickled him a foot away. You, my darling, were laid back and could sleep through anything. Anything but hunger. You let us know when your tummy needed filled. You were willing to wake up and cry out. But there was no waking you if you chose sleep. And for much of those early days and weeks, you picked sleep.
I use to call you my lap kitty. You would sleep and sleep, sprawled across my lap while I filled out job applications looking for a job that would keep us happy and healthy.
Oh how I snuggled you.
You use to camp out on my bed while I watched Doctor Who on Netflix. I placed you gently on the other side of the bed but you’d wiggle your way up alongside me and then eventually under my arm. I’d be all ready with barriers so you didn’t fall of the bed, but I needn’t have worried, you gravitated towards the warmth of momma.
When we weren’t exploring the Universe in the TARDIS together, I took you everywhere I went. Especially the first 2 months. You slept through it all, so it wasn’t difficult to take you everywhere.
I even joked that I needed a job where I could bring you along. You’d make an excellent lobby manager at the bank. Though, my boss is talking about knocking out a wall and contacting fisher price for a cash drawer.
Then I turned away from being the least girly of the bunch to the biggest advocate for tutus and frill. Your daddy yelled at me in those first few days that you weren’t a baby doll. Luckily, all you did ever was sleep so I could argue there wasn’t much to do with you besides dress you up and snuggle you.
It was in your first few days where I realized real fast your oldest brother liked you much more than he liked me. But, that’s OK. He’s been asking for a baby sister for years. It become clear when the first words out of mouth when he got home from school were, “Where’s the baby?!?” It was part question, part demand.
As I watched your youngest, older brother morph into a big brother, my heart grew about 20 sizes. Your first few days, he was building tracks around you so he could teach you how to play with trains. And then as you became a threat to his toys, he’s shown a patience with you I didn’t know he was capable of. Sure, he verbalizes his frustrations as he switches what hot-wheel cars you taste, but he doesn’t hit or push you like he does others. As rough and tumble as he is, you he treats as gently as if you were a butterfly.
When I learned while pregnant that you were a daughter, I joked that you needed to be born with chain mail. Little did I realize you already had it waiting. Daughter I present your chain mail: Big brothers. Both of them. No one will keep you safer than those 2 as you grow. Except maybe your daddy.
OK, probably your daddy.
You turn you big hunk of a daddy into a pile of mush. A pile of melted, daddy’s-in-love gush. And then you melt him all over again. When you cry out for “Dada!” when you topple over and bonk your head. When Dada is able to calm your tears. When Dada placed you at the center of his universe, and you put him at the center of yours.
You two are growing a father-daughter relationship that all other father-daughter relationships will grow to envy.
Your family isn’t the only one fond of you.
That becomes clear when I take you places. Gender, race nor age seems to matter when it comes to people fussing over you. I can’t take you anywhere unless I’m willing to deal with the swarm of admirers you draw.
But I think the best way to share your personality is by sharing your first word: Hi! Sure Mama and Dada entered your vocabulary, but “Hi!” was there first, there early, and you meant it. Oh how you meant it.
Darling Daughter, I can’t promise this will be your last first birthday letter. Just like I can’t promise I’ll ever grow tired of seeing you light up when you see your brothers, Thomas insisting on kissing you goodnight, Lucas touching your hands and face like you might break, your father melt at the batting of your long lashes, or my heart melt when you throw you head back, close your eyes and grin.
I promise to keep you stocked in tutus until you beg me to stop. I promise to start back up when you realize I was right about you in them.
I promise some of the biggest goals in my life are to take you prom dress shopping, wedding dress shopping, and holding your hand as you give me a Grandbaby.
I promise you will never be so old that I won’t sob as I write these letters.
I promise you are everything you are meant to be. You are, no matter what, good enough, just right, and wonderfully loved. And anything beyond you being you is gravy.
Because I promise you no matter what I am your momma and I will always love you!