Remember when you could fit comfortably across my lap in this chair? I do. We’ve done a lot of sleeping and feeding and reading and rocking and laughing and crying (yes, both of us) here these last few years. We still manage to make it work for all of the above, but these days we most often sit side by side. When we don’t, I’m fairly certain we both wake up sore the next day from the necessary contortions. (OK, probably just me.) It’s true, there is a larger chair waiting for us in what will soon be your room across the hall . . . I’m just not ready.
Graduating from this chair—with its formula stains and pilling fabric—and into the other one, still stiff with newness, feels like such an emboldened punctuation in a chapter I’m not ready to close. As turbulent as it started for us, we’ve weathered the storm together.
Now we both solidly know that through it all—past, present, and future—we belong to each other.
You are my person—my sous chef, my parrot, my adventure sidekick, my helping hand, my comic relief, my perspective on life, and my constant reminder to be a better human.
I am your safe space—the first one you run to when you are sad or happy or scared, and I’m the only one you truly “let it rip” in front of when your emotions are too much for your small body to handle.
You are exactly who you want to be at all times, and even when you are difficult, I envy and adore you. I pray you never lose any part of who you emphatically are right now.
Though you’ll always be my girl and we’ll never not belong to each other, every passing day holds the reminder that I will have to share you with the world, and sooner than that, you will have to share me with your little brother. I hope you can find it, in your beyond 3-year-old wisdom, to understand it’s an abundance of love for you that fuels the desire to perpetuate and grow our family. I hope I can find it in my own resolve to remember the world needs more kind hearts like yours, and the sooner it’s your turn to grow up and be seen, the better the world will be for it.
Soon, we will belong to more than just each other.
So at this moment, I remain laser-focused on the small things that are sacred between us. I’m tattooing images on my brain faster than I can fully absorb the details of the original . . .
The way you ask “Hold you?” when you really mean “Hold me?”
The way you pretend to read our favorite stories using my inflections.
The way you break into song or announce a random thought with no precursor.
The way you guide me through our made-up bedtime games.
The way you insist on finding a comfortable spot to snuggle against my growing body over electing to lie in your crib.
No amount of sharing ourselves outside this moment will make these details any less ours, so I will hold them close in practice today and in memory tomorrow as we step into the roles the world needs us to assume.
As I sit here in the calm of our solitude, my slowed pulse echoing the rhythm of your sleepy breathing, the whirlwind of changes about to happen in tandem still feels stronger than what my aching heart can handle. So for tonight, and for as many nights as we have left in this chair, we will remain awkwardly entangled in a way that my joints will eventually forgive and my soul will never forget.
Sleep tight, sweet girl.