I've decided that with a new baby coming, it would be a good idea to write a little letter to my older kids so that they can look back and know that regardless how many kids we have, each of them is precious and beloved.
Dear Big Girl,
You and I, we have a long history. It all started around 8 years ago. I know you're only 5 right now, but I promise this will make sense. Before your Daddy and I were married or even dating, you were already a part of my heart. You see, one day in an uncommonly warm October, I was praying in a little chapel in a convent. I was sitting in front of Jesus, doing my best to give my heart to Him. For the first time in my life, God put a perfect picture in my head. I could see this vision with such abundant clarity and I still remember it today. What I saw was you, little girl. You were about 9 or 10 months old, sitting up on my lap. Your hair had that beautiful orangey-red tint it had when you were very little (I still see it in the summer light). I was sitting in our brown wooden rocking chair Nana and Granddad loaned to us and your Daddy was standing behind me smiling. We weren't sitting still, we were reacting to things around us. At the time, your Daddy didn't know, but ever since I told him I know it's given him lots of joy to know that God planned you before He had brought Daddy and I together. It took God another few years before that moment came to be, but I remember the day we were sitting together just like my vision, and I was so grateful. That's how, when I found out you were growing in my tummy, I knew you were a girl without any doctor having to tell me. Daddy and I even picked out your name before you were in my tummy because we both trusted God was going to bring you, our little dream girl, to us once we were married.
Since you've been born, you've given me so much joy. You have been the source of so many firsts for me. You made me a Mommy and through you I've learned so much more about love, caring, and compassion that I could ever have dreamed of knowing. You have always been a joyful, thoughtful and loving little lady. When I feel like I'm failing you as your Mum, you find a new way to show me that even though I'm not perfect, you keep turning out beautifully despite me. I love everything about you, from head to toe and all the in-betweens. If I had to pick one thing about you to say was my favourite part, I'd probably say how loving you are. You love your little brothers and your sister, your Daddy and I with a love I can only hope to emulate. You love yourself in a way that is completely unselfish and not at all vain. You demand of others the same unselfish love and respect. I also love how fierce you are in the face of injustice. When something doesn't make sense to you, or when someone is trying to hurt you, your gentle exterior melts away and you are so brave. You don't scream or hit, you use your words and stand your ground. Sometimes you even do this with your Daddy and I if you feel so strongly that we're being too hard on you. In the moment that may be difficult to deal with, but in the end I love so much how much you respect yourself that you won't face what you see as an injustice with quietude. As you get older, please don't lose this part of yourself. I promise I will nurture it as best as I can. I also love your faith. Jesus isn't just an idea to you, He's your comfort and friend. When you're sad or afraid, I often hear you alone in your room, turning to God to give you strength. Your faith is so natural, so unassuming. It's part of who you are at your core.
I could spend the rest of my life telling you everything about you that I love, but for today just let me say that I love you. I love you for everything you are to me and our family and our friends. I love you for the way you love others. I love you for the way you love yourself. As you get older, I can only hope that these beautiful parts of you that shine through even at the age of 5 keep getting brighter and stronger. I can already tell you're going to be an incredible woman. The kind of woman who takes the whole world on and challenges everyone around you to be a little better than just good enough.
Thank you for making me a Mummy. Thank you for teaching me what motherhood really means. Thank you for being my precious daughter, my collaborator, my co-conspirator, and my friend. Thank you for loving me, even through my worst days.
I love you, little lady. Always and forever.