A Letter to My Almost-Two-Year-Old

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Hi My Baby,

Today it hit me like a ton of bricks.  You, my sweet angel, are almost two!  How did this happen?!  How did you grow so fast?!  Where have the last two years gone?

I remember two years ago: I was awaiting your arrival with great anticipation.  I must have washed your cloth diapers a dozen times–washing, hanging them to dry, folding them…  I spent my evenings making a blanket for you, and dreaming of the day I could hold you in my arms.  I watched video after video of other births, and prepared for my own by buying everything my doctor would need.  I began to envision the painless perfect moment you would be in my arms…

Now I watch you play with your puppy, both of you a tangle of limbs and bodies.  He pesters you by nipping at your ankles and following you around.  You boss him around, telling him, “No!” when he tries to take your toys or jump on you.  He’s a good fur brother for you to practice on before your space gets invaded by a real brother.  He’s also your first thought in the morning!  You come pitter-patting into the kitchen smiling long before your daddy.  Without waiting for mama to make her coffee, you walk to the door.  “Dog?” you ask, pulling on the knob.

You are a busy little girl!  You are currently “cleaning” with a sponge, but it won’t be long before you are on to something else.  I watch you play mommy with your babies, then set them aside to build towers of blocks.  I couldn’t be more proud of you, my love!  Your twinkling eyes flash mischeviously my way, right before your tower crashes to the floor spilling legos all over.  “Uh oh!” you cry out with glee.  It isn’t long before you begin singing the clean-up song, picking your blocks up to put in your grocery cart.

I know that one day this won’t be amusing, but I am proud of you for knowing what you want…or don’t want.  Your wagging finger and firm, “No,” in response to my question regarding bedtime makes me grin inside.  “Ale,” I ask, “Do you want to put on your pajamas?”  “No!” you say.  “Do you want to go play in the water?” I try out my fun version of asking you to take a bath.  “No!” I hear again.  Most of my questions are met with no–with the exception of one or two .  “Ale, do you want a cookie?”  “Si,” you say, smiling and reaching for a Maria.

“Pup,” you say to me, reaching your arms up to be held.  I snuggle you for as long as you let me, but you have so much to do!  Wiggling down, you run to your markers to write.  A few minutes later you tell me, “Bye,” as you blow me kisses and walk away.  You, my independent little girl, are so full of life!

Little Allie, your mama and daddy dreamed about your arrival two years ago–but those dreams just keep growing and changing with you.  I hope you always take time to play and enjoy those around you.  I hope you continue to keep busy with the things that interest you.  I hope you always feel powerful enough to stand up for yourself and say, “No.”  And I hope that you re never too big to want to climb up next to me for love and snuggles.

My almost-two-year-old, you are my all.

Lots of love,
Your Mami

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A Letter to My Sunshine

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You are my sunshine–my only sunshine.  You make me happy when skies are gray!  You’ll never know, dear, how much I love you.  Please don’t take my sunshine away…

Dear Sweet Little Girl,

I don’t think I will be able to find the words that describe just how special you are to me.  I remind you of what my mama told me: you will never know a mama’s love until you become one yourself.  Oh!  You fill up my heart until it is close to bursting!  I don’t see how I could ever love you more!

Everyday with you is special, but I find myself thinking of today.  Today is Mother’s Day in Mexico–and tomorrow is Mother’s Day in the United States.  Sometimes I can’t believe that I am YOUR mom.  You’ve set my world spinning, sweetheart, and I don’t think it will ever stop.  I couldn’t help but beam with pride when strangers greeted me today, “Felicidades, Mama!” they said.  I felt like they weren’t just wishing me well–but somehow each salutation was someone seeing you!

My little Ale-cat, your giggles and grins are so special to me!  Today as I changed your diaper you looked up at me knowingly.  Succumbing to your twinkling eyes, I tickled your tummy.  Your shrieks of laughter were music to my ears!  Again and again I let my fingers dance across your tummy as you wiggled away.  With an expression of pure glee, you snuck back over to crawl into my lap.  I melt all over again…

Your grandmama said that she loved the days when we were hanging onto her skirt-tails as she maneuvered around us in the kitchen.  I don’t remember those days, but I am building memories of you, sweet pea!  I spotted you again today as you snuck your milk into your favorite cabinet.  Then tonight, you came toddling in with leftover sauce in each hand to store away!  What am I going to do with you?!  I’ll have to remember to check that cabinet now.  I have my own personal chipmunk with an easy-to-reach stash of bottles and snacks!

I think you said agua today–and banana!  I can’t believe how you’re growing up, my love!  Even the sounds that aren’t words sound just like us.  I feel like we will soon be able to tell your English and Spanish apart based on the pitch in which you talk!  With that ever-present twinkle you wave, “Die, die!”  (bye-bye)  Boldly you move around the room talking to yourself counting, “uh, duh, uh, duh” (uno, dos, uno, dos) the way Daddy did as he taught you to walk.  I hear you singing while you’re playing or bathing, and no camera would ever do you justice!  I hope you always keep that song in your heart, little girl.

I know that someday, you’ll be sad and brokenhearted.  The bottom will drop out of your world just like it did mine.  I hope you will come let me kiss you and nurse your hurt away. Mamas have a way, you know, of brushing you off and putting you back on your feet.  I hope you’ll have a faith so strong that you’ll let God blow you where he wants.  Until then, God will keep you under his wing.  Until then, you don’t have to cry for my love.  Until then, you don’t have to fall to get my attention.  Until then, let’s keep that smile on your face, that twinkle in your eyes, and that sweet laughter ringing loud and clear.

With a love so grand it hurts,

Your mama

A Letter to My Sleepy Baby

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Mama’s precious punkin,
This morning you woke up as I was getting ready to leave. I almost kept walking out the door, but I am so glad that I stopped, cancelled my ride, and held you for five minutes. Five minutes was all it took–I felt my heart lurch as you clenched your little fingers tighter. Your grip on me, metaphorically, is enough to make the world disappear.

Five minutes with you snuggled at my breast. Five minutes of those big chocolate eyes gazing intently as if you were looking into a window to my soul. Five minutes and you pulled away–and only heaven’s glory could be more wonderful than what I saw when that smile broke across your face.

Sweet baby, I’m sorry it was only five minutes, but if that’s all we get, I’ll take it. I’ll take those snatches of time, fractions of an hour, because they are full of so much more than seconds. Smiles, laughs, snuggles, babbling, or even just the touch of your fingers petting my skin as if it were velvet–I crave every moment.

You, my Allie-bug, fill my day with just five minutes.

Love,
Your oh-so-busy mama

A Letter To My Baby

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Dear Sweet Ale,
My precious little girl–mommy is so tired. Why do you wake up early on the weekends, but you sleep so long during the week? This morning you opened your eyes and just touched me with your sweet soft hands. I willed you back to sleep–hoping to get a few more winks myself. Then I realized, my moments with you are few and far between already…

My heart flutters when you reach for me.

I came home, and there you were. Daddy didn’t listen, and you were watching the Schoolbus YouTube video…again. You saw me, and started jumping up and down. Your two teeth were gleaming as you flash that million watt smile my way. I grabbed you up–and gave you a squeezed. Thinking of how excited you get–it makes Mama so happy.

Papi said that he doesn’t let you crawl anymore. He really can’t wait for you to walk! He doesn’t understand what he is in for once that day comes… All I can think is, “Please wait, baby.” I need you to wait until I have time to prepare for you toddling around. I could make a list of tangible ways I need to prepare, but really–I just need to hold you another day, week, month…

My dear girl, I love every minute I get with you. Even though right now, it feels like you are eating or sleeping most of the time we’re together. Even at the moment, you are curled against my side and out like a light. I look forward to vacations and weekends not just because I am off–but because I get to be with you! I cling to every smile, giggle, eyebrow raise–because one day you’ll be too big and impatient for Mama’s love.

Until then,
Amorously your’s,
Mama

A Letter to Baby on Father’s Day

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Dear Sweet Baby,

You should know, your daddy loves you more than any other man ever could. Someday, if your path leads to marriage, you will began looking for a husband. I am hoping that day will be when you’re older–and wiser about what you should look for in a mate. Oh! how I wish I could tell you to hold out for the right man! But if you’re anything like your mama, you’ll have to find him the hard way.

A couple days ago, I asked your daddy, “Victor Papi, what’s the best thing about being a dad?” He paused for a moment, and replied, “Having a daughter.” My heart melted. You are his treasure, he’ll do anything to give you the best (not the most expensive) things in life. That doesn’t mean toys and electronics, baby.

Nope! That means that he is willing to stay in Mexico as long as necessary, because you need to speak Spanish proficiently. He can’t wait for you to learn all the things a good Mexican (woman) knows.

“Someday,” he tells me, “I want you to teach my baby how to make tortillas. And she needs to learn to put things where they go. I don’t want her to put her things all over the place.” I can’t wait to teach you how to be a Mexican, my love. But you must learn to be American too.

So if you choose to have a Mexican husband, you should let him make tortillas every once in a while. Let him change the diapers, cook the supper, and mop the floor. Because a good American woman lets her husband share household responsibilities.

Giving you the best means that he is willing to stay home with you all day long–even when he’s going crazy being stuck in the house. It means that he washes your cloth diapers Mami bought you, because he wants the best from your head to your toes bottom! It means that he will go with you to get your shots, even though he starts to tear up when you’re in pain. It means that he is willing to cut a trip short to see his parents, because he doesn’t want you to be hot and covered in mosquito bites! Oh, honey, you are so loved.

I see the way your daddy looks at you–and the way you light up when he talks to you. You’ve got a good one, Bebita! Be nice to him, okay? I dread the day you’ll be embarrassed to kiss him goodbye. Or if you become embarrassed about being Mexican. I know teenagers get a little weird, but please be sweet to your daddy always. Give me your mean and snarkiness, I can take it…

Actually, Sweet Pea, if you could just stay loving, that would make us all happy…

Someday, my love, you will realize all that your daddy has done for you. You will think him all day with a heart full of love. When that day comes, don’t forget to call him on Father’s Day. That’s only something your mommy does…

Love,
Mami

P.S. Happy Father’s Day to the first man that loved me. XOXO

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Dear Baby From Mama

Hi My Sweet Little Girl,

I am watching you smile sweetly at your daddy.  He’s whistling and making funny noises at you while he tickles the space between your eyebrow.  I am glad you still have space between your eyebrows, but I am thinking that won’t be the case much longer.  I won’t pluck them though–not until you’re old enough to care about them.  And if you turn out looking like this we will celebrate your beauty.

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I see you getting bigger and more observant.  And I feel the pressure.  Because, Baby, I want to be the best mama I can be.  I know I’m a novice when it comes to being a Mama.  But to be the BEST?  I know what that means:

It means that even when I want to save you, I have to let you fall.

It means that when you fall, I show you empathy and give you a shoulder to cry on.

It means that I will continue to sit in a closet and pump you bottles for as long as I can, because I know it is the best nourishment I can give you!

It means that I will swallow my jealousy when you flirt with your Papi–because every girl needs a daddy like your daddy and my daddy.

It means that I will sing “Tell Me the Story of Jesus” to you, even when you begin to request “#1” every time we sing.

It means that I will make sure you get to meeting, even when I think of a billion excuses for myself.

It means that I will set you up for failure now while you are young, so that I can “Love and Logic” you into a successful adult.

It means that I will support your Daddy when he gets after you (even though it isn’t the way I would do it).

It means that if you want to be a car washer, “starving artist”, or bicycle mechanic, I will support you.

It means that if you want to be a teacher, doctor, lawyer, or indian chief, I will support you.

It means that if you want to quit your job and move to another country, I will support you.

It means you will have my unconditional support (this statement is invalid if you ever decide to drop out of high school, smoke cigarettes  or do anything harmful to your body.)

And when you do stupid things (because I know that you will–even though I am dreading the day that happens), I will still love you–but I will (try to) allow you to suffer consequences.

It means that when you get hurt roller skating down a ramp, I will rush you to the doctor and love you up.

It means that when you’re sick, I will clean up your throw up without letting you know that you’re disgusting–and I will sleep next to you to be there in case you need me.

It means that if ever you do need me (while you’re living your own life in some remote place), I will move heaven and earth to be there.

And, Lord help us all, when you start getting hormonal–I won’t make you feel like an alien.  Even though you will most assuredly act like one.

It means that I will probably embarass you one day.  There is no way I will be the “cool mom,” and you will pretend that you don’t know me.  But I will show you how to love yourself by not caring what others think.

It means that I will teach you to love unconditionally: the old, the sick, the weirdos, the unfortunates, the privileged and the poor.

And when I get old, I will hide my weakness from you–to give you extra time to love your Mama.

It means that when our roles are reversed, and you’re giving me a bath–I will probably complain and worry that you’re wasting your time on me.

When I look at you, Ale, I see how perfect God made you.  And I mean it when I sing, “I really think that God above created you for me to love.  He picked you out from all the rest, because he knew that I’d love you the best.”  I love your chubby cheeks, and if they stay chubby when you’re 29–know that you are beautiful despite what the magazines say.

I know that one day, you will grow too big for your britches.  Your Mama won’t be the light of your life.  You’ll make plans to be the complete opposite of me in every way that I annoy you.  But if there is one thing that you should accept and adopt–let it be this love I have to you.   Because THIS love is a legacy.  I come from a long line of loving ladies, and like it or not, that love is concentrated all on you.

Love always and forever,

Your Mama

babyMy baby at 7 weeks.