To my sweet baby girl,
The first official Mother’s Day gift I received from your dad was a beautiful cherry wood cutting board that is now hanging on our kitchen wall. Cherry, because we decided while celebrating our first wedding anniversary in Traverse City that we were ready for a baby. Ten months later, after a very enjoyable pregnancy, you arrived with bright, eager eyes, a healthy cry and the prettiest little angel face I had ever seen. You changed our lives forever. You created our family. You made us parents. Happy, scared, proud, tired, joyful, worried, hopeful parents.
The first year was a whirlwind that no amount of “what to expect when you’re expecting” advice truly prepares you for. Overwhelm aside, we poured our heart and soul into you, showering you with as much love as humanly possible. We weren’t perfect, but you certainly were! Every new milestone made the exhaustion disappear in a flash, like a magic potion. Even the smallest things felt big. The first time you caught your own reflection in the mirror, you smiled ear to ear knowing the beauty looking back was someone special. I will never forget the day you belly-laughed for the first time, we erupted in our own laughter crying tears of joy as we begged for more. It was incredible.
We embrace each fleeting, yet powerful “light bulb” moment with gratitude. It’s the best part! Seeing the world through your eyes is truly a gift. You’re almost four now. FOUR. Where does the time go? I swear, all I did was blink. You’re starting to read simple words, leaving an undeniable sparkle of accomplishment in your eyes. You already color better than I do, but now you draw original pictures, using your imagination and creativity in new ways. I love every intentional line. You have a knack for memorizing Disney songs, solving riddles and asking thoughtful questions because your daddy loves teaching you new things. Sometimes our eyes will water with an unspoken agreement that we’ve obviously created the most perfect child ever. Amazing Amelia. I wish I could record every second as you grow, so I can always remember the glorious details with clarity.
Caring for a new baby was not for the faint of heart, but we made it! Caring for a toddler took a large amount of energy and patience, but we did it! Raising a child to have confidence, curiosity, knowledge, manners, purpose and empathy sounds daunting, but we’re doing it. Like many new mothers, I often doubted my ability to be successful, to have all the answers, to act without hesitation. These days, I’m far more trusting and easier on myself when I feel uncertain. Your smile, your joy and your loving heart are all proof that we are doing it right. Your independence, witty sense of humor and critical thinking skills blow me away. If we falter, you’ll be a step ahead with a sensible plan all figured out.
Motherhood can sometimes make you feel a bit like Cinderella as you care for your family and home with every ounce of energy and motivation you can muster. It’s not the accolades moms are after though, even if that is nice to hear sometimes. The sense of pride I get from being your mother extends far beyond anything I could measure or put into words.
I owe you a thank you for making me a better person, for giving me greater purpose and for showing me what life is all about. I cannot wait to experience all the wonderful things you’ll do in the world, but please… take your time my love, let’s not rush this beautiful journey.
Soon you’ll be in Kindergarten, getting lost in books you can read without me. Don’t worry, I’ll still snuggle with you for bedtime stories. Soon you’ll be a crazy teenager slamming doors and saying hurtful things. Don’t worry, I forgive you. Soon you’ll be talking about crushes, begging to take the car and scouting colleges. Don’t worry, I’ll be there every step of the way.
Carved into that cherry cutting board is the quote: “To the world you are a mother, but to your family you are the world.” So please, no matter what lies ahead know I am committed to doing my best and giving my all, on the good days and on the tough days too, because you are my world.
I love you to the moon and back (for miles and miles forever),