Tomorrow, when you wake, my gorgeous one-year-old daughter will cease to be, and in her place, a two-year-old will wake.
It seems surreal that I've blinked so many times that yet another year of your short, miraculous life has passed. It cannot be true. And yet, it is.
My momma-heart aches for your baby-hood to remain longer. I want to linger in this infant and toddler moments a while before the sun sets and rises too many more times and you are a preschooler. The years, fly by, even though some days it seems that time slows down due to the chaos of life. But what they say is true, these years go by much too quickly.
I regret not rocking you to sleep more often in this past year. I rocked you many times, but I could have held you against my beating heart more than I did. I know it won't be long and you will not want to rock that way, and I will miss it so much.
I find it harder to watch you grow up than your brothers, simply because you're my baby, I think. Although, the fact that you're my only daughter, and that I never imagined I would have a daughter has some weight as well.
Sweet Pea, you are such a joy. You're a huge blessing, and a bright ray of sunshine every day, rain, sun, clouds, snow... You just radiate beauty, love, and warmth. Yes, of course you have your moments that are a little more cranky, bossy, or stubborn, but those are far less than the great moments.
You are so intelligent, little lady. I know that parents automatically think that of their children, but your knowledge and language skills astound me. You have spoken so clearly and with such a vast vocabulary for months that you would seem to be older than you are. You have such a beautiful singing voice, even if at times, in the van, it's quite boisterous nonsensical vowel sounds. I love listening to you sing "Jesus Loves Me," "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," "The Wheels on the Bus," the ABCs, the "Hokey Pokey," and the past few days, "Happy Birthday." We have been talking about your birthday a lot this week, and many mornings, you've sang the song to me as the sun rises. It's the most precious little thing.
Although you still sleep like your newborn self, waking multiple times most nights (I wouldn't mind if you slept a little better, you know.. just something to consider, perhaps a Mother's Day gift...), I love how happily you get ready for bed. You tell your brothers "Nuh-night Brothers!" and beg for giant bear hugs from them, which they happily give you every night, before you climb in bed. I sing "Jesus Loves Me" to you once, before I kiss your forehead and tell you "I love you, sweet dreams baby girl." You tell me "Love you too!"
Pip, this past year has been incredible. It's been filled with anxious and sad moments for our family, for sure, but one thing is for certain, God knew what he was doing when he brought you into our lives. The boys and I adore you so much. I am so thankful that God has chosen me to be your mommy.
I pray for you daily, and I ask that God mold your heart to be warm, pure, and strong. I hope you are filled with courage and strength. I hope that you're brave, but wise. I pray you find life-long, lasting friends, and that your memories are as joyful as possible.
I cannot wait to see you in the morning, Norah Rachelle, and to hug that little two-year-old body that I held for the first time not all that long ago, but ages ago, just the same. The twinkle in your chocolate brown eyes when you whisper in my face is a memory I hope I never forget.
I love you, baby girl.