Dear Baby Girl,
Well Tootsie, another year has passed and you are almost two-years-old!! I can’t believe how much you are growing. Just this week, someone asked me if I was going to cry on your birthday. I almost said yes because, well you know me, and I’m a crier. However, after thinking for a minute, I realized I’m not sad at all. While I’m certainly not ready for you to hurry and grow up, I LOVE watching you grow up. I love seeing the beautiful little person you are becoming, and I’m so happy to be a part of your life. I am so proud of you!
It has been quite a year for so many reasons, both good and bad. Through everything, you have been my constant source of joy and hope. Mommy has had quite a year with being sick. I was unfortunately diagnosed with cancer in December when you were just 14-months-old. I’ve had quite a time with surgeries, chemo, and infections. It would have been easy to give up, but every day I thought of you. I hope that all you remember from this time is the fun we had and that I had funny hair for a while. When you are old enough to read this though, I want you to know that you saved my life. Every time I hurt, every time I was sick, every time I was scared, I thought about my baby girl. You deserve to have a mom you can be proud of, and so I have strived to be that person. I have prayed every day for God to help me not only be a survivor, but to be one who walks with grace and strength. I know that He sent you to me to save my life. Despite your young age, you have always known exactly what I’ve needed this year. You knew when to give me a hug, when to say I love you, when to make me laugh, and when I just needed to sit and cuddle. I was terrified of your reaction when I started to lose my hair, but you didn’t care. In fact, you made me feel all better about it. You even would lovingly wash my head for me when I gave you a bath, and you would wear funny hats around the house for me. Martina McBride sings a song called “In My Daughter’s Eyes.” While the entire song reminds me of you, one part especially rings true. She sings, “When she wraps her hand around my finger, oh it brings a smile to my heart. Everything becomes a little clearer. I realize what life is all about. It’s hanging on when your heart has had enough. It’s giving more when you feel like giving up. I’ve seen the light. It’s in my daughter’s eyes.” This always reminds me of you because you’re my reason to always fight! On a bright note, my surgery did get everything out. I only did chemo to make sure that I get to spend a long, happy, healthy life with you! So, never fear, Mommy is not going anywhere! I just know that one of the reasons God put me on this earth is to be your mom, and I’m definitely not done with that job yet!
On to brighter notesJ It has also been a big year because we have had so much fun! Now that you are getting older, we have been able to do so many more things togetherJ For instance, we redid the backyard for you! Your Grandma and Grandpa Bronson bought you a swingset and our friend Amber gave you a little house. We have spent hours back there playing! You also got to be a part of the summer library program for the first time! You’re not actually supposed to join until you are in preschool, but they let you come ahead. You weren’t behind in the slightest. You had such fun dancing, reading, and doing crafts! You especially loved the picnic hat you made, and you looked so cute dancing around in it! In addition to these, we got to take your first vacation! You, your dad, and I went with Aunt B, Aunt Jacque, Uncle Jeremy, and Alex to Branson. Your favorite part was being on a boat on the water when we rode the Ducks!
These are just a few of the many fun things we have been doing this year. You and I are always on the move. We probably make your poor dad tired. Even when we’re home, we’re usually up to something—playing, giggling, laughing, and having fun. We are definitely partners in crime;)
You have also learned so many new skills this year. I am so proud of you every day. You are so so smart. Even though I know you’re smart, I’m still amazed at just how much you know and learn every day. You’re amazing! I am especially excited that you have learned to say, “I love you!” this year!!! Every time you say, “I love you, Mommy!” my heart just melts. I also love that you love to read and learn from books. I can’t even count the number of books we read together. Many nights, you want to read more than you want to play and you’ll bring me book after book after book. Your favorite books of the moment are your Clifford books and Goodnight Moon.
Well, in just a few days we will celebrate with our family at our house for your birthday. You love Minnie Mouse, so we will be having a Minnie Mouse partyJ Then, next week is your actual birthday. For your present, I am re-doing your room in Minnie Mouse! I can’t wait to see your face when I show you. I hope you’re excited!
Above all, I want you to remember always how much your “mommy ma” loves you! I’m so proud to be your mom!! I love you to the moon and back!