To Nellie Rose, 18 Months Old.

Nellie Rose,

My darling girl. It’s been a long time since I’ve written something to you.. I used to do it all the time when I was still pregnant with you. I even wrote you a few letters before you were even conceived, telling you to hurry your little butt up and come to your daddy & me already. Those days of waiting and wanting and wishing seem like a million years ago, and at the same time just like yesterday.

Baby girl. My sweet, amazing, hilarious baby girl. What are you up to lately? The better question is.. What AREN’T you up to lately? You are a blur; in motion more often than not. I feel like I only occasionally catch glimpses of you holding still and the rest of the time you are just a curly-headed whirlwind of activity too busy exploring your world to stop for even a second. I want to freeze the sweet, fleeting moments in time when you lie still against me; those precious seconds that you lean those soft, dark curls against my chest. I breathe deeply and try to memorize you in those brief episodes of stillness because I know all too soon you will be on the move again, my busy little toddler.

You love music. You love to dance. You love the Avengers. Seriously. When your daddy plays the Avengers cartoon show on Netflix you dance by swinging your arms in the air. You point at The Incredible Hulk and shout, “Ulk! Ulk!” You carry around your Thor action figure and say, “Sooooorrrrr.” You say new things every day, each more astonishing than the last. You can sign “more” and “eat”. Your laughter is the sweetest music I’ve ever heard and the quickest way to get it out of you is to tickle under your arms. You begin to laugh; a joyful sound from your gut that fills my heart from top to bottom with happiness.

My Nellie. My daughter. I am so sorry I’ve taken so long to begin to really experience you. I mean really, truly, and fully experience and enjoy you. Mama’s been living in somewhat of a fog, but the fog is lifting and I feel as if I’m really understanding and living what it’s like to be a Mama. I am learning how to take each breath, each moment with you and really let it wash over me as we live it together. You inspire me to be braver, to be more curious, to be more adventurous and to see things with eyes that have been blind for a long time. My child, your existence is a miracle and has breathed new life into me.

You are a very picky eater. You’re too busy to sit down for a meal. It takes something really special for you to sit still long enough to eat. You would rather take your food to go so your adventures don’t have to end. You’ve finally begun saying my name regularly and you say it with gusto. The other day, you came to me and gave me a kiss right on my lips completely unprompted for the first time and such a wave of love crashed over me, I felt as if I might be swept away by the intensity. Sometimes when I’m sitting on the floor you will toddler over to me and kiss me on the arm, then walk away to explore something else.

You love Yo Gabba Gabba. You love Super Why. You love being read to. You love the Adventures of Brer Rabbit and the keyboard at your grandparents’ house. You love watermelon, fruit snacks, and hot dogs. You love a capella music and sing along in the car.

Nellie, my love, I have asked you this before but I must plead with you once more: please slow down. 18 months have passed before me as if in seconds, and I fear before I know it you will be giving me that mischievous smile of yours as you climb the stairs to accept your high school diploma and I will be sitting, proud but disoriented and wondering how in the world those years flew by so quickly. Being your mother is the most wonderful, most frightening, most beautiful and most painful thing that’s ever happened to me. Each moment is bittersweet because each moment is new and a wonder to behold, and yet at the same time when it passes I know it’s gone forever. The baby that you are today is not the baby you will be tomorrow, next week, or next month. You will evolve into someone completely new, just as amazing and just as exciting.

I look forward to all of the moments you have to share with us. To all of the laughter, to all of the memories we have yet to create. If you become a mother yourself one day, my child, then and only then will you understand the beautiful, bittersweet heartache that is Motherhood.

Nellie, you are more loved than you will ever fully realize. Thank you, little girl, for the greatest 18 months of my life so far.

Love, Always,

Your Mama.

 

You ; 18 Months Old & Full of Mischief