The thought that keeps coming back to me is this:
I would do it all again.
The physical pain of carrying you and my body’s extra pregnancy weight. 9 months of heartburn, nausea, discomfort, sleepless nights. The night of contractions, and the next day’s delivery. The most painful two weeks of beginning to nurse, the months of sleeping on the couch so you could breathe through your stuffy nose. The rollercoaster of hormones, the tears, the blood. Your screams at night, waking me far too often. That whole 9 months leading up to you, and the year following it.
I would do it all again because those things are temporary and while very real and challenging in the moment, they are fleeting. What stays with me is your smile, your one little tooth, your crinkly nose laugh, your wispy blonde hair, your big blue eyes, your dainty little figure, your “She looks like her mama.” Your tiny tantrums that try to teach us your needs. Your love of chocolate. Your devotion to your brothers. Your full-grip hugs and long snuggles. Your head leaning on that soft space below my collar bone. The dreams I have for you, the future that awaits you. Those things stay, and they make the hard stuff fall away quickly.
I hope you see the good in your family, and take those pieces with you. For example, I hope you have your daddy’s First Reaction to be kind. To use gentleness and meekness in your interactions, to bring hope to others’ lives. I hope you have his warm smile all your life, and that glow in his eyes that says he chooses love. I hope you see your brothers’ vivaciousness and excitement, their need to move and mix and mingle, and feed off their energy in positive ways.
Though I am imperfect and always will be, I hope you forgive me for my shortcomings as a mother and as an example of what a woman should and can be. I hope you see me standing up for right more often than you see me allowing it to slip by. If you don’t, be stronger than I am.
I hope you see me demonstrating the capabilities of women, the necessity of their influence and creativity, their boldness and their intelligence. If you don’t, stand taller and lead the way for more women to follow.
I hope you see me serving my family and others with kindness and selflessness. I hope you see me putting God first. If you don’t, show me the way.
I hope you also see me taking the time to care for myself. Because if I want YOU to love YOU, which I desperately need you to understand how cherished you are, then I first have to love ME. To show you that we are our own best friend first.
I have always felt your presence. Once we started our family, I always knew I would have a daughter. You came to me in dreams before you were born, and that is where we found your name. I hope you always come to me. I hope you come to me in the dark of the night with your fears and worries and I-can’t-sleep’s. I hope you come to me in the light of the day with your ideas bursting from your seams, your face lit up with wonder and curiosity. I hope you come to me when it’s hard. I hope you come to me when it’s so good you fear it won’t last. I hope you know how loved you are.
Mirabelle, everything I do for you, I would do it all again. A million times over.
I love you forever,
You can read my other letters to my kids here: