Love letters.

3:08 PM

My dearest Jocelyn,

   I just want you to know, that life with you lately has been pure gold.   Not so long ago, we were in the midst of a rough patch.  Discontent with life, you would antagonize your sister, fight with your friends, and nothing Mommy said or did was ever quite right.  It broke my heart to feel you pulling away from me.  At times I would dread the moment you awoke, crying and wailing and at odds with the world and yourself. 

   But then, much like on a bumpy plane ride when you're clutching your seat and bracing yourself for a long, hard ride, and suddenly the angry clouds part and you see the sea, smooth as glass below you and wonder what you were worrying for....I feel we too, have broken through.  Maybe this is not the last rough patch...perhaps it's only the first of many.  But nevertheless, it is a break-through, and I will choose to see it as a victory.  A stepping stone in the building of a long and lasting friendship that will be ours, and that nothing will ever be able to take from us.

   Your Daddy and I catch ourselves just standing still at times and watching you lately....dancing, twirling, laughing, and absolutely in awe of every little thing.  Your wonder and joy is contagious.  The sound of trains in the distance, the baby calf in the field, a bug crawling across the floor....the world truly is your oyster, and the simplest things bring out a gasp of wonder.  You are trying to learn anything and everything as fast as you can, and nearly trip over yourself in your desperate eagerness to soak up this whole wide world.  And I love it.  I wish I could be more like you.  I want to freeze you....somehow preserve you entirely so that not a single hair will change.  To change would be to rip me mercilessly out of this magical time with you....this trance you have me in.

   You are 27 months old.  A mere 3 months away from being 2 and 1/2 years old.  At your next birthday you will turn 3.  After this summer, I will only get 2 more summers with you until you will be SCHOOL-AGE.  I think I might die a little.  I would really like to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with whomever coined the phrase "Terrible Twos".  The only thing terrible around here is that phrase, if you ask me.  O.k. honestly, there are terrible moments.  Terrible days?  Check.  But I refuse to sum up this fleeting, precious, valuable, priceless phase of your life with the word "terrible".  Because it's not.  It is difficult at times, draining at others, and occasionally exhausting, but it is NOT terrible.  I am privileged to be the one to spend these days with you.  I am privileged to be the one to kiss your ouchies, brush your teeth, take you potty, tuck you into bed.  I won't always get to do those things.  Some day very soon, you won't want help with any of those things.  You will lock the bathroom door for privacy and freak out if I come into your room without knocking.  So for now, I will drink in the Twos.  I will cherish the Twos.  You will not be Two for long.

My dearest Charlotte,
When your big sister was this age, I was already pregnant with you. 

   When I stop and think about that, I am always a little shocked.  You're still my baby!  My teeny, tiny little Charlotte.  It would feel so, so strange to be expecting another little one now.  Although I suppose it isn't anything I haven't done before.  But I'm just not ready....not ready to move on from you being my "little one". 

   You have been such a trooper over the last few weeks.  Sick with two ear infections, and hacking and coughing and long, sleepless, miserable just does my soul good to see you coming back to me.  That mischievous little grin, those dazzling blue eyes....I hate it when you're not yourself and don't quite feel myself either when you're not.

    Yesterday we had a beautiful, genuinely felt-like-spring day, and so I put you and your sister in your matching dresses and went outside for a snack and some pictures.  I had too, because you're both growing so fast you will soon be out of them, and the chance will never come again.  I'm so glad that I did.  Today was cloudy and gray, reminding me that the moment is now, and not later.  Time waits for no one, not even a mother of little ones who is sometimes struck speechless by how fast they change before her very eyes.

   You are getting around so well.  You crawl to any room you please, and are starting to pull yourself up.  I have a feeling you will walk before Big sister did.  You have been so patient with me lately when I am at Bible study or running errands in town.  Even if it's over lunch or when you should be napping, you sort of just go with the flow, and that makes me love you even more. 

   I see more and more friendship cultivating between you and your sister, and I can't tell you how delighted that makes me.  Is it silly that I already day-dream about the adventures we will all have together?  Shopping, vacations, camping, travel, hiking, swimming, biking, painting our toenails, doing each other's hair, talking about life, love and other mysteries....o.k. I'm sure by the time you're old enough to read this, it will be embarrassing so I'll move along.

And to both of my darling daughters......

Do you know how lucky you are? You have the Best. Dad. Ever. 
   I think at first he was maybe a little unsure of how to be a Daddy to girls.  After all, it was something he'd never done before and 3 females is a lot for one house.  But it has been so much fun watching him take to it like a duck to water.  It just comes so naturally to him, loving his little ladies.

I can tell how you both adore him, even at such a young age.  As far as Jocelyn is concerned, he is Superman, Iron man, and Captain America rolled into one.  And Charlotte?  She just sort of freezes and stares, every time he gets home from work.  She just waits, willing him to look her way and give him some of his much-coveted attention, and then beams the most beautiful smile at him.  I can just tell you both are quite smitten.  And I'll warn you, you're only going to love him even more, the more you get to know him.  He has a way of growing on you. :)

   We are both so lucky, so very very lucky to call you our own.  We don't ever want to take you for granted.  Of course, being human, we will.  We will forgot how precious the moments we have are, and will even wish that they would hurry up sometimes.  So when we do that, when we make mistakes, remind us.  Remind us that we need to LET YOU BE LITTLE.  Because you won't be little for long. 

With all my love,

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  1. What a beautiful post! I love how you write down these memories, taking it all in, freezing time. You will love to look back on these one days. And your pictures never seize to amazing me! Their dresses are adorable and your little girls are just beautiful! I love Charlotte's deep blue eyes and this last picture could warm anyones heart! Thanks for sharing.

  2. What beautiful pictures! You are an inspiration to me to make sure I get in the pictures more often with my kids. :) It's just so hard sometimes. Do you use a self-timer?

    I love the fact that your girls look so's amazing that sisters can share so much and yet still be their own unique selves.

  3. Shell, this is wonderful. I have a lump in my throat, it's so sweet! You are such a lovely, fabulous mommy. Love you!

  4. So jealous of your springy-looking weather! Love posts of your girls, as I have 2 girls as well. thanks for taking time to post.


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