Around 4 years ago and 9 months ago we had lots of discussions about whether or not to have another baby. We were in favor, but ultimately decided that it was probably smartest, in regards to finances, time, etc., to stop where we were. It was a bittersweet decision; as I would have 6 kids if I could afford to, but one I grew comfortable with immediately. It was settled, my child birthing days were over.
Two weeks later I was pregnant with you. I was shocked. I was scared. I was more upset than a person should be, especially for someone contemplating the exact situation a couple of weeks earlier. Although I know how babies are made, I just didn’t think it could happen so easily.
I spent the first five or six months of the pregnancy a bit grumpy. I regret that, because you are my ultimate joy. You were exactly what we needed; the one our hearts were waiting for. The funny man; the peacemaker. While Jordan and Jaxon squabble frequently, they are always at peace with you. You round out the crew perfectly.
After your birth you were being examined by a pediatrician for the first time while I nodded in and out. I was so tired, and the medication was making me drift in and out. Still, I watched intently, and noticed the change on her face when she listened to your heart. Those first few months were scary. Though you were healthy overall, your heart wasn’t all the way healthy. There were several openings that should be closed by birth. I knew true fear at that time. Would you be ok? Would you grow to run and jump and play? As the doctors monitored you closely that first year I wonder if they could not only see something lacking in your heart, but something extra as well. To me your heart is better than “normal”.
You have an undeniable humor. You are the funniest person I know, and have been since you could communicate. You have an arsenal of moves and expressions that crack me up daily. And you’re funny without meaning to be as well. I love that you pronounce so many word incorrectly; I will never correct you. Oriel (Ariel), Olsa (Elsa), Dimbo (Dumbo), pupcakes (cupcakes). My personal favorite is boot chanks (butt cheeks). You have a gutter sense of humor. You are here for every conversation about farts or butts. You love to get naked and wiggle. My negations only increase your activity. Although maybe you keep going because you see me trying not to laugh; it only encourages you. The other day I caught you mumbling my catchphrase crap on a stick, as you tried to find a matching lid for your Tupperware, and it was seriously like seeing myself.
In contrast to your humor, you are also so tender. You never hesitate to tell me that I’m your best friend. You always want to hold hands. You are a giver when it comes to hugs and kisses. You pray for me and sing for me, as I do for you. You have an ease about you that many other kids don’t have. You have always remembered people; even as a tiny little toddler, even if you don’t see them often. Your little face is infectious. You frequently assure me that I am your best friend, but about a week ago you told me that you love me so much you wish I was a stuffed animal. When I thought about it it was the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me. And I love your catch phrases, such as miss miss or I’ll meet ya!
You’ve also got quite a sassy side to you; but it is doled out with such humor that I am not at all worried about it. You love to argue that you’re not a baby, no matter how many times daddy and I try to express to you that you will always be our baby. I not a baby. I’m a girl! You are hard to convince when you’ve got your mind made up. I don’t want to look cute, I want to look pretty! Remember the time you sobbed because I gave you two braids like Anna, and you clearly requested one braid like “Olsa”? Though you were seriously distraught it cracked Jordan and I up completely. Lately you have been insistent that you wear your hair in a ponytail or down, never in a “circle” (a bun). You always have an opinion about my hair and outfits too, though most of the time you are extremely complementary. Mom, you look so bootiful. When you say it, it is easy to believe.
But Shia, it is you who is so beautiful. You are truly like a shooting star. I know they are out there, but each sighting of one is genuinely breathtaking and exciting. That’s how I feel about you. I am so excited to be your mother. I can’t help but marvel at you. I want to lay a blanket out under your life and watch; gasping and pointing at all of the amazing things that are you. I can’t believe I ever doubted for a second that you were what was best for us. Thank you God for this precious little life.
Today you are 4. You crawled into my bed at 6:45 to check if it was true. Mommy, I’m 4???? You burst into a smile when I confirmed it. You thanked me for the decorations that I had set up while you slept, and wondered aloud why we weren’t having cake for breakfast. Then you selected a vibrant green tutu to wear to church and insisted I take your hair out of the braids so that the world could see your curls. You opened your gifts with relish, and I got to thinking that it was us who received the greatest gift in you. I still can’t believe it. I can’t believe that I will never again have a 3 year-old, but for now I am the mom of the coolest 4 year-old in the world.
With all the love in the world for my little baby girl…