A letter to my daughter on her 2nd birthday

Ava

July 27, 2014

 

Today is your birthday. There was no big party this year just a small and intimate celebration with your grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. We spent it with the people who love and care for you most. As I sit in your dark bedroom rocking you to sleep your tiny hands hang flaccidly against your side as you nestle your body in my arms and rest your perfect little face on my shoulders. I burrow my nose in the folds of your neck until the softness of your skin greets me like a warm blanket. Our breathing becomes a synchronized melody; our heartbeats become one. I relish this moment like I did the very first time we brought you home from the hospital. On July 27, 2012 at 10:21 A.M. the cries of the sweetest little face your father and I had ever seen filled the air at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital. After a lifetime in the making you had finally arrived. You were our greatest dream manifested in human form.

From that moment on, our lives were forever changed in the very best way possible. Before you, I never knew the magnitude that the human heart can love. I never knew what genuine happiness was until the first time I looked into your eyes. I never knew what true peace was until the first time you fell asleep in my arms. I never knew what pure joy was until the first time I saw you smile. You are the absolute best part of me. You are my oxygen, the reason I breathe, the reason I live, and the reason I strive to be better. Today and every day I am grateful for you. When I think about how long and hard your father and I prayed for you and how difficult our journey was at times, I would not trade any of it. There were days when even breathing was a struggle. Times, when I felt as if my heart was being yanked from my chest, but every tear, heartbreak, & obstacle that presented itself is what brought you to us. Everything I’ve ever done and gone through has prepared me to be your mother and there is no greater joy than waking up every morning and seeing your face.

At 2 years old you are filled with so much joy and happiness. You are independent and confident. You love being around your cousins, but you also find peace in playing alone. You love music, dancing, making silly faces, and playing with my phone. You are full of so much energy and curiosity. You can navigate your way on an iPad better than some adults, easily finding the games and apps you enjoy the most. Your favorite words are “thank you”, “walk”,  “book”, and “read”. Your passion for reading even at this young age makes my heart smile. When you wake up in the morning it’s the first thing you want to do. You love watching Dora the Explorer and can easily identify Dora, Boots, and the Map. Your favorite foods are blueberries, pizza, and cheerios. You get excited whenever you see mommy or daddy and you are one of the most affectionate little girls I’ve ever seen. You randomly hug and kiss us when we least expect it. You can already count up to 10 and know the letters A, B, C.

You are growing up so fast and every mile stone you accomplish makes your father and me so proud. Sometimes I look at you and wonder what I ever did to deserve you. But in my lifetime I’ve learned to stop questioning God’s plan and just appreciate the blessings. As you begin your third year of life I promise to continue loving you voraciously. I will protect you fiercely and nurture your spirit lovingly and tenderly. When heartbreak comes, because it will, I will sit with you and hold you, and help you mend back the pieces of your broken heart. When betrayal comes, because it will, I will help you rebuild your faith and trust in humanity. When you finally meet the person that you want to spend the rest of your life with, I promise to love them just as much as I love you. And should you ever need a friend or confidante I promise to be the very best friend you’ll ever have. Today and always I want you to know that I am always on your side. Happy birthday baby girl mommy and daddy love you more than you will ever know.

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