My Dearest Cailyn,
Last night, I checked on you and your sister before heading to bed. You looked so sweet and peaceful lying there, your tiny blonde curls moving gently in cadence with your breathing. I’m not sure what you dream of, but it seemed like bliss. You looked so happy, serene, still.
Since I’m an insomniac lately, I decided to lay with you for a while. Even though I slipped quietly into your bed, you knew I was there. You opened your eyes briefly and smiled at me, tossed your arm over my neck and whispered, “I love you Mommy.” And back to sleep you went.
I had such a tiring day, and none of it seemed to matter once you spoke those simple little words.
You randomly tell me you love me every day, and those are the best moments of my day – every day.
You are the sweetest girl; happy and cuddly by nature. Your dimpled smile is deliciously infectious.
You have changed so much in the last year. Everyday, you seemed to have left a little part of your babyhood behind. You’ve been forced into toddlerhood over the last eighteen months, and I am just in awe at how well you’ve handled all of our transitions.
You stopped saying “Joo-Joo” for anything drinkable. I really miss hearing it every 5 minutes.
You started dancing and singing for everyone — no matter where we are. Your impromptu Wal-Mart concerts are one of my favorite pastimes.
You stopped wearing diapers. You basically potty-trained yourself. Which, we’re finding out, is just your style.
You started wearing dresses every single day. You love getting dressed up, even for a picnic outside.
Maisy is still your side-kick, even though you leave her at home a little more often these days. You don’t require her presence at every outing, but you miss her as soon as we’re twelve miles from home. You enjoy dressing that little mouse for the day; dresses, tutus, pajamas and more. But you still have a panic attack when Maisy needs a thorough washing. I had to sew her arm back on a few days ago, and you were so upset that Maisy had a boo-boo.
You still crack me up with a few mispronounced words; girl is “goar” and elevator is “alldegator”.
I am going to cry when you finally decipher those pesky words. You’ll get it. You always do.
You are the queen of specificity. You’re not really a diva about it. Yet.
You are so very detailed, and I have to turn my head to laugh when you start dishing out details of the day at dinner. You’re barely three. And sometimes I forget that. You act more like you’re thirteen sometimes.
Each day, you tell me, specifically, what you would like to wear. You call out coordinating hair bows, socks, shoes, whatever. You’re quite the fashionista! I am enjoying it immensely; pink nail polish, glitter, lace and frills. Well, not so much the glitter. It does make a mess…
I have really enjoyed watching your bond with Carys flourish. The two of you are inseparable, and not just because you are “best friends” by default. You are kind to each other and are very careful to share whatever you have with your sister. You love her so much, and you tell her all the time. I hope your relationship with your sister is always this sweet.
You enjoyed having me all to yourself this year while Carys was in preschool. We had a fun year of playing one-on-one and creating memories just for us. Your favorite thing to do was go shopping each week; it doesn’t matter where. You just like to be on the go.
This Fall, you will be heading to preschool, too. This time last year, I could not have let you go. You were not ready. You were so clingy and needy; you were a baby still. But now? Now, you don’t need me quite as much and you’re excited about becoming a big girl.
Becoming a big girl seems to have happened overnight.
It can’t have been three whole years, yet. Has it? Already?
I remember your entrance into this world so vividly. I remember holding you as an infant, trying to make you fall asleep by sheer will alone. It never worked; your colic always defeated me.
When I held you last night, your tiny little body seemed much bigger than that of a three-year-old. I fell asleep quickly and easily; it’s the best sleep I’ve had in a long time. It reminded me of your infancy; sweet secret moments of quiet sleep. It was just like that, actually. Only this time, you held me back.
Happy Birthday my little butter bean. You are so, so loved!
Music: Darius Rucker, It Won’t Be Like This For Long