Reese, I just have so many things I want to tell you. I mean, I do tell you, but you’re not gonna understand, let alone remember. I have to keep our communication down to 2-3 word phrases centering on food or Trolls or music. But I just have so much to say to you, now that you’re a big sister and you’re getting so big and smart so fast. And I know that I will forget.
These are things I want you to know when you’re 5, or 10, or 15, or 20. At that point we’ll have so much more going on, I’m sure, and maybe all these things will have faded before I have the chance to tell you while they’re warm and bright in my heart. So here they are.
Reese, when we met you CHANGED me. Physically. And I don’t mean the obvious gross physical changes that brought you here. I mean that I’m pretty sure an X-ray taken at 2:03 and an X-ray taken at 2:05 would show a physical change in my brain and in my heart. I was a different person before I met you.
These stretch marks? The squishy and lumpy skin all through my midsection? You did that. That was you. Well, and all your siblings to follow, but you first. I had a pretty good body that I loved and that looked half decent in a bikini. I gave that up for you. And I don’t take it back at all. But I want you to appreciate what I did for you, as selfish as that sounds.
Sometimes I look for or make up excuses for you to sleep in my bed, even though right now you’re 2 and big and kicky, because I just love having you near. I eat up those moments when you snuggle me.
You LOVE Malone. I know at some point you two will have issues. You’re little girls only 2 years apart. But in case I forget to tell you – you blew us all away with your reaction to “Wone.” You didn’t care at all at first, but then you warmed up so perfectly. Not obsessed and in the face like some kids, not mean and jealous like some kids – which are both normal reactions for 2 year olds by the way. No, you were politely curious. Then smiley and gentle. Then friendly and cuddly. Then fiercely protective. You love her. And she loves you! She looks around when she hears you; she smiles when she sees you. So give her back her headband, and she’ll give you back your jacket and stop screaming at each other over who is taking too long in the bathroom. Ugh. Teenagers.
You’ve never been clingy and I LOVE that about you. But I do secretly relish the rare occurrence when you cry or get hurt or have some type of problem that only *I* can fix with love and help and cuddles.
When we drive around in the car we chat together. I rarely know what you’re saying, and I’m not sure you are even listening to me. But we talk back and forth. One day you’ll probably be a teenager with headphones ignoring me in the backseat, and I’ll want to say “Hey. We used to talk constantly in the car, and dance to Justin Timberlake.” and you’ll say “Who is Justin Timberlake?” and I’ll say “You’re grounded.”
Your body is perfect, and perfect for you. I know because I made it. And I watched it evolve. I’ve seen you learn to control and master it. That body is yours, though I made it from scratch, and it is perfect for you. I’ve kissed every inch, carefully washing and lotioning it every day of your life until you got too big to have your lame mom doing it for it. I’ve carefully purchased and planned outfits for it, admiring how you look and all the unique features of you. So love that body, and please take care of it.
I think about you constantly – did you know that? I’m a busy person, and I always have a lot going on in my life. There are days where I let you watch wayyyyy too much YouTube, and days where I just need your “quiet time” to be an extra 30 or 40 minutes because I need a break. And in the future I’m sure you’re gonna think “My mom is so busy. She doesn’t have time for me. She forgot about me.” But I want to tell you that nothing is more important than you. Many things are more urgent than you – like my sanity LOL. But nothing is more important, and I’m never NOT thinking of you.
Sometimes you ask me for something and I’ll give it to you and then you scream “NOOOO PLEASE!” and throw it at me and try to hit me and I keep trying to give you whatever it is you want. Even though you’re a little tyrant. It happens every day. I just want you to know that when you’re 12 and so pissed that I won’t let you have a sleepover.
We’re best friends. For 2 years it was just you and me, Reese. We just hung out and ate popcorn and ran around and snuggled for 2 years. In those 2 years I only went one 24 hour period without seeing you. And now you’re sharing me with Malone, and it’s awesome. But those 2 years were, and will always be, the most precious years of my life.
My biggest, deepest, oft-consuming fear is that something will happen to you. Some days it’s more than I can take. I remember waking you up from a nap once just to hold you because I was sobbing thinking about losing you. I don’t know what I would do, and I better never have to find out. Please be careful and safe and healthy and close – always.
I’m sure there will be days that it feels like I don’t love you or that I want to ruin your life. I’m sure we will fight. I’m sure I will make a careless mistake that will hurt you. I’m sure you’ll break my rules and my heart and maybe even my windows.
And I will forget to say all these things. So I say them to you now, as I tuck you into bed, as we drive around town, after I yell at you for stealing my Tie-Toke.
Reese, you mean every tiny thing to me. Nothing could replace you. Nothing could come between you and I. I would fight tooth and nail for you, and I will. I would walk to the ends of the earth. I would carry any weight. I would endure any pain. You brought meaning and light and life to my existence, and I’m still so stunned that when I decided to have a baby God decided to send me YOU.
And that because of the sacrifice and resurrection we celebrated on Sunday, I will always have you, no matter what. I will forget to say all these things. I’ll say the wrong things, or the right things the wrong way. But I will do my best. Because that is what my love for you deserves.