I can’t being to tell you how many times I meant to open up this blog and tell you how amazing it is that you’re a part of our world. It’s been a little over 7 months. I just realized that the last time I wrote to you was when I was in the hospital in labor.
That was, to this day, the most amazing thing I have ever done in my life. I was scared and it was painful, but I have never been more determined. The strength it took to deliver you on June 25th, 10:49 am, is a strength that I have carried with me since, that gets me through the challenges of being a mom.
Life is different my dear. It was hard to adjust at times, when we were once used to having complete freedom, and then everything depended on this tiny little person we love oh so much. And you, you depend on us too. For everything of course. Naturally, gratefully, all though sometimes impatiently.
Life now flashes before us. Where does time go? It disappears in moments of joy, watching you grow, watching you learn, watching you change in front of our eyes. You are nothing short of amazing, no matter how short you are. Sometimes time flies in frustration, tears, diapers, and far too many poop-covered changing tabled. It’s life. Life is different.
Life is better. It may, at times, be harder, but we can no longer imagine a time in our lives without you. Wonder never ceases to exist. We look at you and it’s like, “Wow! We made that!” It’s a proud feeling.
You have changed us as well. Made us two people who put family above all else. You’ve made me stronger, more caring, more determined. Being a mom has brought out a whole new side of me I never knew I had. And I would do it all again. In a heartbeat.
I read an article today, and it looked like something that I would want to make sure to share with you down the road. It was beautiful and made me cry. It was all about a mom being there for her daughter. It’s the mom I want to be for you.
A Promise for My Daughter
I’m tired and she’s tired. And she’s been weeping with frustration, her face a smudge of red cheeks and snotty trails.
I go down on my knees beside her little, chubby legs. They’re curving over the edge of her green froggy potty stool and she is glaring hot blue eyes into my face. I reach for her and she swats at me and doesn’t want the comfort I know she wants.
I gently take her hands and pull her up. Her tender self all frustration and sweat and vulnerability melting into me. I cup her with my arms and my words and slowly stroke those damp curls back from her cheeks.
I’ve got deadlines and to-do lists and no clue what to make for dinner. There is one quiet window before the boys come home and Pete has made it back early and we’re hoping for a snatched ten minute nap. But she’s inconsolable for reasons she can’t put into 2-year-old words yet and I’m on my knees reaching for her.
I will always come, baby.
She’s in my arms and slowly beginning the ritual of stroking my right arm. Her curls are warm and sweaty and that pudgy baby cheek fits just under my chin.
I will always come.
I dance with her slowly — the rock and roll of motherhood — and I know this is a promise I can stake my life on.
I will always come.
When you forget your lunch. When you are sheep number 5 in the Christmas play. When you take up the recorder and bleat all the way through the Easter service. When you get that bad haircut. When you think you want to be a beauty queen, when you swear off fashion altogether.
I will come.
When the mean girls make you want to shrivel inside your skin. When a teacher intimidates you. When you intimidate the teachers. When you think you can sing and try out for a musical, when you get laughed at and people point fingers at your hair and your shoes and your too bony hips.
My darling, I will come.
When that boy breaks your heart and you’re stranded at a college miles away, I will come. When the internship you thought was part of your calling falls through. When a friend gets sick. When the car crashes. When you have more long distance charges than you thought possible. When you run out of gas, chocolate chip cookies and faith.
I will be there.
When you say your “I dos,” when you you start your happily ever afters, when none of it quite feels like you thought it would. When you don’t know how to pick a mattress, when the sofa is in the wrong place, when you regret what feels like signing your life away to someone else. When you keep on keeping on. When you remember how to say sorry. When you need a safe place to say how cliche you feel all “barefoot and pregnant” I will so be there.
When the baby won’t sleep and the world’s on fire with sleep exhaustion.
Sweetheart, I will come.
When your husband’s out of work. When you’re down to one car and have moved in with your in-laws. When your job threatens to break your heart. When toddlers make you question your sanity. When you realize that you’ve made the worst mistake a woman can make. When you’ve run out of tears and still the tears keeping coming.
I will come.
When you move and move and relocate again. When you pack boxes and dreams and hope. When your life is a world of duct tape and questions. I will still come.
And when your home is warm and your heart is full. When you’re at peace. When you need someone to share the joy, to watch the kids, to admire the dimples. When you want to remember that old recipe for melktert, when you still can’t pick a sofa, when you wish you’d never said yes to the dog.
When you don’t know where you’re going. When you’re the most sure of yourself you’ve ever been. When you’re holding onto faith with just your fingernails. When you’re singing praise to the God who made you and you mean it with every tiny, beautiful, miraculous part of your DNA –
Zoe, always I will come. One hundred different ways I will come when you call.
I will rock and roll you with my love and the promise that I will help you get back on your feet. I will hold your hand. I will rejoice. I will babysit. I will pass the tissues. I will wash the dishes.
I will come.
And the day after. And after.
And then some.
Love you my sweet darling daughter,