You are my sunshine.
I know our little family has this routine going, and it is all you’ll ever know, but I should confess that things were not always this way. Before you, our house was a lot quieter, our Friday evenings were spent on the town, and rarely were we home, it seemed. Before you, I’d never changed a diaper. Holding newborns made me sweat. I have never been a morning person before my first cup of coffee, as my past co-workers could attest. I thrived on routine, and showed no flexibility.
But then you were here. And I was so unprepared. I knew only as much as the full day of birthing class could pack into my brain. Yet, holding you was so effortless. Changing diapers became second nature. I’m still not a morning person… and I may grumble all the way to your room if it’s time for you to nurse being the sunshine has kissed my face, but then I see your wild hair and 3-toothed smile while you bounce up and down excitedly and I find the energy from Lord knows where. And baby, you got me staying up late writing again… a passion I thought I had lost.
Being your mother has been the hardest and easiest role I’ve ever had. When it comes to loving you, getting up at all hours of the night, braving the crowds so you might get a chance to see the jelly fish swim, or starting a dozen holiday traditions because I want you to grow up with the sweetest memories with Dad and me … it is so easy, even when it’s really hard.
You are fearless and determined. You take a while to warm up before you’ll reach for someone, you must study people first. You only know how to say a few words – mama, da-da, dog-dog, no, ‘nana, yea – and yet you communicate with us and always find a way to make your point, be it with an eyebrow raise, scrunched nose, wave, clap, or pointer finger. My goodness, sweet girl, you have got the sass, but you have also got the most innocent smile.
This year, Lord-willing, you will learn to walk. You will eat one of my chocolate-chip Christmas cookies. You will throw tantrums at new levels. You’ll push me. You will test me and challenge me and my patience in ways that I never could have imagined. And sweet daughter, I will love you for all of it, just the same – no, probably more.
I look ahead to days that will come. I think of birthdays that we will celebrate as a family. I daydream of putting your drawings up on the fridge and the times you’ll help me dry dishes in the kitchen. I dread the day you’ll come home from school with a crush. And the day you feel shame for the first time. I wonder who you will be. Whoever you become, I pray you will be God-fearing. I pray you will be happy.
I hope I can show you grace. I pray I can teach you God’s word, though I am so inadequate. I pray that you’ll know how strong you are but always act with humility. That it’s okay to ask for help when you need it. That you’ll know when to lead, and when it’s appropriate to follow, too. I hope you will be the kind of friend that people can depend on. And when the skies open, I hope you’ll look up and laugh at the raindrops like you do now. I pray you will know that I think you are magic. I pray for your health, your growth, and that when you rest your head at night, you’ll feel fullness in your belly, the warmth of your grey flannel sheets, and that you will always feel safe and loved as you close your eyes.
My Gracie, God placed you into our care and that has been a gift we absolutely cherish. You have changed us for the better.
You’ll never know dear, how much I love you.