Dearest little Audrey Rose,
I’ve been staring at the cursor blinking for about five minutes now. I’m not quite sure what to say to you. How did we get here?
I hope you know that you’ve absolutely turned my life upside down. It started with a feeling. A feeling I had deep down inside, and then that dream where I had a little girl and named her Rose.
Well here you are, Rosie. You’re here and despite the fact that you started out in a backwards sort of manner, you quietly went about your way staking your claim in the family.
While you can’t know what you’re missing if you’ve never had it, I know deep in my heart that if you weren’t here, I’d feel a little emptiness. You’ve done such great things in your short little life.
What have you taught me, sweet girl?
You’ve taught me to be brave. To look fear of loss right in the eye and not back down. That sometimes the unknown is worth fighting for.
You’ve taught me ongoing patience. You don’t rush, you don’t worry. You reassured me over and over that you’d crawl when you were ready, and you did. You’re showing me now that you’ll walk when you’re feeling brave enough. And I’m OK with that.
You’ve taught me how to stop and smile. Having so many kids at once means my brain is always in over drive. I have to get this done, this done, and that done. Now. But sometimes you crawl up to me, grab my pant leg and smile at me, almost to say, “Mom. Remember what you always say, ‘Life isn’t supposed to be so hard.'”
You’ve taught me not to push my limits. I’ve had to learn how to stop and assess the situation. And trust me, you tell me if you’ve had about enough. You’re also extremely vocal.
But, being as you’re the youngest of four, you have to be.
Rosie, I know loss. I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. It’s the most numbing, awful feeling ever. I almost lost you, and that’s enough. To see you smile, hear you squawk at your shoes as you triumphantly wave them in the air, watch you slap your hands on the ground as you crawl somewhere with such purpose – that’s it. That’s all I need. Ever since I held you in my arms the first time, and cried – oh I cried, I swore to myself I’d never take you for granted. Never. You make every day brighter, more honest. You give me purpose.
Today you’re one. One whole year old.
The color of your eyes are still a mystery, and walking still scares you – but you? You are incredible. I’m so glad I get to be your mom.
We still have a very long road ahead of us, but that’s cool. My favorite part about being a parent is always knowing that nothing will ever be the same. Every day something changes. You learn a new word, decide you no longer like a certain food, figure out how to climb the stairs…every day is an adventure.
But one thing is for certain, you are a sweet, sweet girl who will grow into a sweet, kind kid who will (hopefully) still go somewhere with purpose.
And never stop smiling.