A couple of years ago I sat at this same computer to write a letter the Bonnie on our first Mothers Day together. After our journey through infertility, that Mothers Day was a day of thanksgiving and redemption, and celebration. I remember my heart being so full that year.
And then last year my heart was equally as full. We had just moved back to Tennessee after being in Georgia for the previous 4+ years. I had a bubbling almost-2-year-old, and a 36-week baby bump. I was counting down the days until Audrey’s due date, and excitedly preparing for our home birth.
This year I entered into Mothers Day weekend frustrated, depleted, exhausted, and overwhelmed. Bonnie and I struggled through the week. She got lots of punishments, and the week even ended with me filling three trash bags with her toys that she refused to help pick up, and subsequently “throwing them away.” Okay, so they are actually in our attic, but as far as she knows they have been thrown away. But that’s another story.
The point is this: I let circumstances steal my joy of motherhood.
And last night my mind drifted to the amazing women I’ve met in the infertility community, and the weekend that they would be facing. I remembered how difficult Mothers Day is when you are fighting for motherhood. When you are daydreaming of the very same things I am complaining about.
And then I remembered all the good things that have happened this week. There have been so many hard moments these past several days. But there have been so many precious, secret moments, that only mothers get to experience. Moments of overhearing your toddler whisper sweet phrases that she doesn’t understand to her baby sister. Or watching her snuggle with her “babies” on her bed to have story time with them. Or watching her climb to the top of the jungle gym at the playground for the first time ever, when she is usually much too scared. Or listening to her sing Lauren Daigle’s song “First,” even though she only actually knows a handful of the words. Or watching her eat her first watermelon of the season, and insist that it is so good she has to share some with “Baby Audrey,” and with all the baby birds outside too. And of course with the squirrels, because squirrels love watermelon.
And then I remembered sweet Audrey, who is such a gift, and who has been such a trooper from day 1. She came into this world so peacefully and beautifully, and has stayed that way ever since. She has a gentle spirit, but she is also daring and adventurous in a way that Bonnie never has been. She will take all the cuddles and affection that I will give, but she is also fiercely independent, which makes me both happy and sad. She is such a light in my life, and I know God will use her to be a sweet, soft light in the lives of others as well.
You amaze me.
You are resilient, sweet, amazingly independent, and the best cuddle bug around. At 11 months old, your personality begins to show a little more each day, and I fall more in love with you the better I get to know you! And I think everyone else you meet feels the same way.
Your birth was the first of many transitions our family has experienced over the past 11 months. And as we have watched you experience all of your firsts, you have watched Daddy and I navigate many firsts of our own. And you have given us grace each step of the way. You have watched me operate in survival mode for the bulk of your sweet, young life. And even when I feel like I am falling apart at the seams, you look at me with your big, soft, blue eyes, and I feel like you just get me.
The days of Mothers Day making me feel sad for myself are long gone. For as long as I can remember I wanted two daughters. So when God gave me you, He gave me my heart’s desire. And even on the most difficult of days, I know the God of the universe is listening to my heart’s cry, because I have you.
My days with you pass all too quickly, and I find myself grasping at every moment, wishing that it would last a little longer. You have been the perfect baby. You have been what my heart has needed and what our family has been missing. Your sweet nature has blessed my life tremendously, and touched me in such a profound way. My prayer for you is that you never lose that sweet spirit. The world will try to take it from you, but don’t let it. Let Jesus be your light, always.
As you grow, I sense you needing me less and less. You are nursing less. You are walking more. You are growing up. There is a part of me that hopes you will always need me. But even more than that, I hope that you will always recognize your need for your Savior. As you grow, may you grow to rely on Him more and more, in every season. May He be your hope, your light, your peace, your very purpose for living.
I love you. I love you more than words can say, and I am more grateful for your existence than I could ever express. This letter could never do your justice. To be perfectly honest, there are many, many days when I do not feel like I could ever do you justice as your mother. But I am tickled pink that you are my daughter.