Birthday Letter

BABY: the youngest in a group

Dear Baby Girl,

I know you would object to me calling you “baby,” but Webster is on my side.  I get to call you baby as long as you remain my youngest child.  And, assuming no medical malfunctions, you are destined to remain my youngest.

But, now you are four.  Four!

I’m not exactly sure how it happened.  Technically, it happened by you waking up to face 1,460 new days and living to tell the tale.  My mind knows that is the case.  But, my heart is still trying to catch up.  It feels like one minute I was rocking you to sleep and the next you were putting on your own pajamas and insisting I do laundry more often to ensure your pink nightgown is always available.

Part of the explanation for the feeling that your life is going fast is that it is.  As the second child, you live life at a different pace.  Your first steps were quickly followed by demands to keep up.  Those demands haven’t stopped.

I worry that I have provided too few opportunities for you to dictate the pace.  I worry that I have rushed your deserving moments.

What I want you to know is that despite the frenetic pace I ask of you, I see you.  You.  Not the you that patiently cheers on your brother’s team.  Not the you that joyfully tags along on weekly shopping trips.  Not the you with legs too short to claim first place in a family race.   Not you relative to the needs of our family.  Just you.

The you that fills your pockets with random bits of nature.

The you that sings to your toys when you are alone.

The you that hasn’t learned to hug friends back but still seeks out their affection.

The you that climbs a few steps beyond your fear.

The you that can’t help but wiggle when you hear music.

The you that makes “I” a two-syllable word.

The you that offers a courtesy giggle when it is expected, but demands hilarity before laughing.

I see you.

I love you.

Mom

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