A Letter to my Daughter

Wow baby girl, we made it a year.

Becoming a mother, was something I had prayed, and prayed some more about. You were a hope daddy and I had over the span of 2 years before we finally knew about you. Our faith wavered at times, but we trusted God’s timing and his plan.

You were put into my arms, and my entire world shifted. A place in my heart that I didn’t even know existed opened up. I fell in love with every single inch of you, from your tiny toes to the head of hair you proceeded to lose in the first weeks of your life. You stayed wide awake almost the entire time of your first day in this world. I guess you didn’t want to sleep when there were so many new faces in the room to study. You stayed that way for the first  few months, and even now a 30 minute nap is all you take most days.

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Baby girl you have stretched my limits to the max, and then stretched them some more. Patience has never been one of my virtues, but you have taught me all about it.

I have rocked you to sleep at night, snuggled you in my arms in my own bed during sleepless nights, and I have snuck in on you after you have fallen fast asleep just to make sure you were still breathing, watching you dream and every once in a while, talk in your sleep.

I have watched you reach milestone after milestone, cheering on every roll, every crawl, every word, every clap, and every single wobbly step.

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I can remember thinking over and over that I was going to be a bad mom, and there are days where my frustration mounts like when you have been told no repeatedly for shaking the microwave cart, and there have been days where you have scared me half to death like crawling up a tote bin and standing up on top of it. There are times where I crawl into bed so exhausted at the end of the day, shaking my head, telling your Dad that I wish I could give you more of my time; that having to work and having school made me feel like I was inadequate. He just holds my hand and tells me what a wonderful Mom I am, and that you know no different.

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You say mama, dada, ball, baba, and uhoh like it is going out of style. Despite our intense efforts, you will only offer us a tractor when and if you want to say it. We’ve worked hard on high-fives, and you sort of have blowing kisses down, but we are pretty sure you like the noise you can make with your hand more than trying to blow a kiss.

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You have an attitude a mile long, and while I was gone to Vietnam, Dad said you perfected tantrum throwing. I guess that was my punishment for leaving you for two weeks. Ignoring you while you lay on the floor and cry when you don’t get your way seems to be the only way to resolve the issue.

I have relished the last few hugs, snuggles, story times, and trips down the slide this week as your last official week as a baby. I honestly don’t know where the time has gone.

You make me want to be a better mom, a stronger woman, and a better example for you. I hope I can teach you things like having a strong work ethic, taking care of your own family first, to not spend money you don’t have, to stand up for yourself, to make exercise a priority, to take pride in what you do, to depend on yourself, and to also realize that inevitably, loving someone will lead to disappointment, but how you deal with that disappointment will say so much more about you than anything else.

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I hope I teach you to find the wonder in a new baby chick and the miracle of life. I hope I can remind you to slow down and enjoy the everyday moments even if it is just a walk to the woods or a ride in the tractor. I hope I show you to always say thank you, to hold the door for someone, and to give the $5 to the man with the sign begging for money without judging if he needs it or not.

I hope I can teach you to chase your dreams, to truly find out what you love to do. I hope you know you will always have roots with us, but I hope I can support you in the choices you make, even when I don’t agree with them. I hope one day, if you want to, you can come back to the farm and we will be able to make it happen if you choose to do so. We all know girls drive tractors better than boys anyways. I hope you bloom where you are planted, and know that life isn’t about things, but moments. I know already with your attitude and smiles, you will light up a room wherever you may land.

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Baby girl at the same time you are teaching me to delight in the simple things like a new, colorful balloon, repeated trips down a slide, or swinging higher. You are teaching me that at the end of the day, I need to depend on me to get us through the day. You are showing me how discovering something new like petting a dog for the first time or feeling the spring grass on our feet can be so, so good for the soul. Smiles can light up a room, and momma needs to smile more. I hope your smile never waivers little girl.

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Know that no matter what, your momma and daddy love you to the moon and back. You will always be our little girl. Don’t you ever grow up.

Happy First Birthday Harper Louise.

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Love, your momma. 

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