My dearest rainbow,
I would say rainbow baby, but you are not a baby anymore. Every day you go above and beyond to prove that to me. We had a really rough week this week, from your meltdowns to my exhaustion, to your dad’s first full week back at work after the holidays and us having COVID. I felt like a failure more times than I can count, and I know you felt like you were dissapointing us. I promise you, you could never be a dissappointment to me.
You asked me yesterday why I was laughing and had tears listening to a motherhood podcast, and I told you you would understand when you become a mom. After you finally calmed down and things seemed back to semi-normal tonight, I was finally able to breathe, and man, I am so glad you weren’t in the room to be confused. As I sat there reading signs to make for our hallway with your photos, I came across one that read, “Sweet girl you are more than we ever imagined and better than we ever expected,” and I cried—a deep cry that makes you lose your breath.
See, I remember hearing I couldn’t have kids. I remember being just nine years older than you are now and having my heart broken in a doctor’s office while they removed the cancer. I didn’t care about the cancer, all I cared about was the potential of a you.
And truly, I had no idea, because if I had known you, it would have been unbearable.
I remember holding your sister while she breathed her only breaths. I remember them telling me you wouldn’t survive in my stomach—all the bed rest, hospitalizations, and injections that came with it. I remember the NICU saying you couldn’t breathe. I remember your first night of screaming then going limp with 105-degree fevers with seizures. I remember your first hospitalization to try to stop the fevers. I remember your sister. I remember you.
The feelings I get when I think about you after a hard week start with guilt, prayer, and it’s all a mix of everything leading to you followed by the most intense love it knocks your breath out. It’s all my story of you.
Mistake is a word that doesn’t begin to cover how I feel when I look back on the years of thinking I couldn’t have you, and thankfully, I don’t go there much anymore.
You, your sister, your father, you all played a part in saving me. I am a different person because of you.
Every day you teach me to be the best version of myself.
Even your autism is a gift you have given me because you make me dependable, you make me routine, you make me use my special gifts that came with my ADHD—the parts of me I hated the most—to find new ways to help you. If I couldn’t change my life at the drop of a dime or have the bare minimum need for sleep, I could not be the level of mother I am to you. God knew what he was doing. I see all those parts of me now—that I hated—as all the parts you need.
I am sorry I can’t give you a sibling. I am sorry for the times I lose my temper. I am sorry I am still learning how to do this. I can’t take back or change those things, but here’s what I can promise. I promise to do my best to try. To try to be the best mom I can be. I promise to be there when it’s 3 a.m. and you’re sick. I promise to be there when it’s Thursday and your ABA canceled and you can’t handle the change in schedule.
I promise to not hold on too tight when you are growing while also making sure you are safe. I promise to not scream the first time you tell me you did something bad as a teen. I promise not to make you feel guilty when you leave for college or get married. I promise to never make you feel guilty for how much I love you.
Because my biggest promise to you is I love you so much—beyond words—and I promise to give you it in the healthiest doses you can have.
I will continue to make all your favorite foods allergen-free and hopefully not cry in the shower when you don’t eat them. I will continue to find new ways to help you stim and try to not let the verbal stims get to me. I will continue to research Japanese cultures and animes to see what’s appropriate and what’s not. I will continue to listen to the same knock-knock jokes and stay up late doing Mad Libs. I will hold you when you are sad, I will have girls’ spa nights, I will play Minecraft when I should be cleaning, and I will remind you to say your prayers. I will show you I love you because that’s what kids understand.
Maybe someday when you are grown, maybe when you have a baby of your own, I will tell you the extent of my love for you. But for now, I will just show you. As you rest tonight and I stay up planning our week ahead, I hope your dreams are filled with laughter and joy.
I know I will be hearing pitter-patter down the hallway followed by a giggle, “Good morning mom. Can we go on a walk to see if there are any animal prints!!?” And when I give you a large hug because I was filled with such strong emotion tonight, you’ll ask, “Why are you hugging me so tight?” I’ll respond with, “I was just thinking how much I love you.” I can’t wait to see you roll your eyes, sigh, and go, “Mooooommmmmmm, seriously. Can we go? I wanna go.”
I am blessed to be here today with you and to be able to say yes.
My wonderful girl, let’s do it all together, somewhere over the rainbow.
All my love forever and a day,