Letter to Jocelyn.

3:45 PM

Darling daughter,

  My calendar tells me that tomorrow, you turn 4 YEARS OLD.  Although that simply cannot be, because it was just yesterday that you were the one inside of my womb, instead of this 2nd little sibling that is there now.

   I remember this day clear as a bell, 4 years ago.  I was two days "overdue" and thinking (as all overdue women do) that I would be pregnant forever.  I was huge and uncomfortable and tried everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) in the book to get you to come out.

    I still remember attending the Christmas pageant and bawling my eyes out when Joseph cradled the baby Jesus close and the song played about being a parent to the Son of God.  I sewed baby burp cloths in prints for boys and girls, not yet knowing which ones I would get to use and which ones I would get to give away.  I didn't know what you were, and I was DYING to find out.  Which name would we use? Which outfit would we be taking home a little one in?? When, oh WHEN would you come???

   I thought it would be extra special if you had come out today, because today is your Grandpa's birthday.  But you waited until tomorrow, and of course that is perfectly fine too. 

   I was lying in bed around midnight when my water broke.  I had heard so many stories of false labor and first babies taking FOREVER so I convinced myself that we were still a loooong way away from holding you in our arms.  I was too excited to sleep so I got up, took a shower, and fiddled around the house, just passing time.  I thought your daddy would need the energy later if it was a long labor so I let him sleep all the way until 6:00 am.

   When I woke him up, I knew things were real.  This was it.  We were going to see you soon.  Excitement and fear mingled closely as you were my first, and I had no idea what to expect!  We called the midwife and she strongly recommended we wait another few hours, but Daddy insisted we go in, and it was a good thing he did, or we would've had you at home, or on the way!  

You were born an hour after we got to the birth center. 

   Everything happened so fast, it all seems a bit of a blur.  Some would say that makes me lucky, but I think fast labors are some of the hardest of them all!  I DO remember how intense it all was.   Like a roller coaster, whipping you around the next bend before you can catch you breath.  I was harder than anything I'd ever experienced or imagined...and then, just like that, there you were.

   My baby.  A little girl, 7 lbs of perfection and a head of the darkest hair I'd ever seen.  You were, and still are, so very beautiful.  

   I couldn't believe how quiet you were!  I assumed all babies came into this world kicking and shrieking, but you were just the opposite.  For the first few months of your life, it seemed that you tried your hardest not to bother anyone.  You were so meek and mild it almost worried me!  Your cry was a soft little mewling, like a newborn kitten.  You were so darling and stole our hearts completely, right from the beginning.

   I remember feeling so overcome with emotion at your birth.  We both cried, Daddy looked like he almost fainted, and it was one of the most magical moments in my entire life.  

   When daddy went back to work and it was just the two of us, I rocked you in the nursery and read you a story as tears poured down my face.  It felt so strange to love something so fiercely....as if the strength of it would actually tear my heart in two....that's how I felt about you.

   From the beginning, you changed our entire world for the better.  You brought joy into our home and deeper love into our marriage.  I loved your daddy SO much already, but watching him fall in love with you??  It took everything to a whole new level.  You are just the luckiest girl in the world to have him as a daddy.  We ALL are the luckiest girls to have him.

You gave me a title I had never worn before...."Mama".  

   And then later, when you were just 18 months old, I gave you a title you had never worn before either....."Big Sister."  And oh, how you've fit perfectly into your role!  I'll never forget those first moments when you met little sis...your eyes were so big and round and frightened to see me in that bed and you didn't know what was going on or how to feel....but how quickly you have come to love her!  

   You are her best friend, biggest ally, and quickest protector.  I have loved every minute of watching you two grow up together, and I can't wait for many more years, if God blesses me with them. 

   You have such a big heart, squeezing feeling and drama and emotion out of everything to the last drop!  You are every bit as expressive as I was at your age, and you shower me often with compliments.  "Oh mama, you're sooooo beautiful!   Oh mama, this supper is SO delicious! Oh mama, the house is soooo pretty!"  And that is even when I am sporting the darkest of eye circles and wild hair, the "supper" leaves a LOT to be desired, and the house is a complete mess. 

    And that's when I know that those feelings and emotions come from something much deeper than the surface...deeper than just the things you can see.  They come from the things you CANNOT see... those feelings stem from feeling loved, and it makes my heart want to burst with joy.

There have been so many fun memories with you already, it would be impossible to list them all.  

   Trips we've taken, places we've seen, people we've met....You have a love for traveling already and talk incessantly about our upcoming trip to Iowa.  I am so thankful for all of the places we've been and so excited for all of the places we'll go.

   Once you let someone in your heart, you love them fiercely, and I can already tell that you will struggle just as much as your mama with FEELING ALL OF THE THINGS ALL OF THE TIME and wearing your emotions on your sleeve.  It's o.k. though, we'll experience it and learn from it together.

I so wish I could freeze this age you are at, right this moment.  

   Of course I want you to grow and grow and grow and never stop growing, but I am stricken at the thought of you never being my little 3-yr-old again.  You have been a gem lately.  Granted, that doesn't mean you're perfect.  You have your moments (just like I have MY moments) when it seems no one can do right and the whole world is falling down around us.  But through it all, you have learned and matured and developed into a darling, big-hearted little dear, and I can't help but keep falling in love with you more and more.

You have such tender compassion already, I can't wait to see what God is going to do with it.  

   You pray OFTEN for the "children with no parents" or the "children with no bed to sleep in, and no breakfast".  I see God laying a heart for adoption on you already and my heart swells.

And you care about the ones who have lost a child as well.

   It breaks your heart that little Jackie had to die, and you talk about her and her parents too, as if you seem to know what they must be feeling. "Daddy, you would be SO SAD if I had to die!" You say, giving us heart-wrenching chills at those words.  And so you pray for Wes and Heidi, and we pray too, and we gather you in our arms for one more tight squeeze.

   Jocelyn dear, I have no idea how long I will be given with you.  I don't know if I have 50 more years, and I don't know if I have next week.  Or tomorrow.  

    And so for today, I will give thanks for you with every breath, and hold close the moments I've been given so far, and I will cherish each one.  You are so precious to us, and I am so privileged to call you mine.

-Your mama.

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  1. Sweet letter for a sweet girl. :)

  2. so precious. I love this. It is going to be such a treasure to your little girls to have these letters someday!

  3. I would love to write a letter just like this to each of my children and in-laws some day!! Mom

  4. Happy Birthday!! I hope she had a sweet day.


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