A letter to my daughter, my favorite sweet girl:
You are incredibly strong-willed. You’ve challenged me right from the start. You love keeping everyone on their toes, just waiting to see what you’ll do next. I love your bravery and toughness, two things I hope you always keep. You get knocked down and, 9 times out of 10, it doesn’t seem to even phase you, you just get right back up. At only 17 months old, you’ve already taught me so many life lessons. While your stubbornness tends to cause me grief now, I hope it gets you so far later in life. I hope that stubbornness means you’ll be driven and go after all you want in life. I hope you chase your dreams and make them come true, no matter how many roadblocks you may have along the way. Girl, you are strong and fierce.
Right now, you love avocados, bologna, pancakes, and string cheese. You’re at that age where you’re pretty picky and you find a way to get your point across, even if that means dumping all your food on the floor or feeding it to the dog. You’re learning how to use silverware and will now only eat if it means you get to use a fork. Speaking of the dog, you and Bella make quite the pair. You’re about the same height and weight and are definitely mama’s girls. I’m quick to tell Bella “no” if she’s doing something naughty, only to find out you’re the one encouraging her (and feeding her fish snacks) in the background. I love that she’s more than just a dog to you, she’s truly become your sister and best friend.
You love most things your brother loves. You try so hard to be big like him. It makes me so proud to see you learning new things and always thinking so much. You may not talk as much as your brother yet, but those wheels in your head are always turning at high-speed. You draw, color, dig in the mud, and play with cars and dinosaurs. There aren’t girl vs. boy toys, to you, they’re all fair game and you’re just excited to play. You’re learning how to do little puzzles and it’s such a joy to watch you. Your fine motor skills are impeccable. You’re starting to play more with your baby dolls and you make such a good little mama. You’re obsessed with shoes, hats, and putting on pants over your pants. You love wearing your brother’s (clean) underwear on your head. It’s a sense of style that is all your own. You pull all your clothes out of your dresser and all the books off your brother’s bookshelf and make quite the mess. You can be quite the tornado if you want to be. You’re getting old enough to sit still and read, which has become a favorite pastime for everyone in our family. I hope you always keep that curiosity and attitude to be so particular. I love your silliness and eccentric style. You get super cheesy when I take your picture and love to make silly faces. While you can be extra ornery sometimes, you make up for it in smiles and giggles.
You’re so active. You were climbing before you could walk. You run around the house on your tippy toes. You’re especially fast when you have something you shouldn’t. You love to workout with me, lifting your 3 pound weights and trying so hard. You hardly allow yourself (or anyone else) to rest. You still aren’t sleeping through the night most nights and refuse to co-sleep anymore. Instead, you like to rock and listen to lullaby music or watch Moana. When dad gets home from work, your little face lights up and he turns into your favorite person in the whole world. It’s the sweetest thing to watch. You also love to dance. Just like your brother, you have a love for music and dancing comes so naturally to you. It’s so exciting to watch and reminds me to have a little more fun in life.
Girl, you’ve been the best handful. I look forward to all God has planned for you. Though I’m sure you’ll have plenty of sibling fights, as you already do, I hope you and Jackson always stay close. You, Jackson, and Bella make the best team. Keep challenging me. Keep me on my toes. You’re making me a better mom and a stronger person and I thank you for that. Despite the curve balls life throws you, I hope you always keep climbing to new heights and pushing past barriers. You’re gonna do big things.