You have always loved babies and often ask when I will have another. Oh sweet girl, you will forever be my baby, and there will not be another to take your place. Even as you've grown, I still carry you to bed in my arms like the baby you were. Now, though, your legs dangle so far down, you usually get the giggles at how I struggle with the size of you. When I check on you as you sleep, I smile at how you lie perpendicular in the bed, sometimes with your head hanging off the side. When you've tried to sleep with me, you do the same, your feet pushing into my stomach, and I remember the baby that did flips in my womb and kept me awake at night with all the kicking from the inside. I knew you would be feisty then, and you have not disappointed me.
You long for me when we are apart, and I think back to your traumatic emergency delivery when I feared I was losing you. I sobbed uncontrollably until I went under and then emerged minutes later to find that you were "perfectly healthy", thank God, and I couldn't wait to hold you as we were separated. Apparently, you couldn't wait either, and I could hear your loud cries down the hall as they rolled you to my room after recovery, and when I held you, you stopped crying and found comfort in me. It still amazes me that I can be that peace for you when I often feel like such a chaotic mess inside my own head.
You cling to me, and I find myself no longer holding back, but hanging onto your gifts of love and trust. I see so much of me in you, but have so much hope that you will surpass the barriers I've built for myself. You are strong and brutally honest, not afraid to tell it like it is, and yet you have such a sensitivity to the feelings of others and long to make peace and soothe hurts. You make me laugh with your silliness and impress me with your cleverness. You show me who I could be if I were as brave as you, and you make me want to be more. The gift is how you accept me for who I am.
Girl of my heart, I have so many dreams for you, but my greatest hope is you will always know how loved and cherished you are. You will always be my baby, even as you grow into a woman and one day relinquish your hold on me. I will try my best not to fight that letting go, but to bless your independence. May your beautiful gifts touch the world as they have touched our lives, and may you always see the art in God's creation as you make your own.