Unanswered Questions

parent

Dear Mom,

As I cradled my baby in my arms at 5am, these questions ran through my mind…

What’s my birth story? What was it like to push me through your body? What was it like the first time you heard me cry, saw my face, touched my fingers?

What was it like to be my mommy? On the nights I didn’t sleep, did you take joy in snuggling me into your chest? Did you look into my eyes? Did you kiss my toes, fingers, and belly? Did you take joy in making me grin? Did you memorize how my skin felt on your fingers and along your face as I reached out to touch you? How did you respond when I tried to chew on your fingers, nose, arm, or chin? When I followed you around begging to be picked up, did you take me into your arms with a kiss and a smile? Did you touch my face and hair while you fed me my bottles?

What was it like to raise me? Did you enjoy the evenings when I snuggled into you? Did you love the silly conversations I found myself having with you? What was it like to teach me to read? Did you enjoy watching me dance? Cheer? Compete? Tumble? Stunt? Did you enjoy watching me make friends and play with them?

What was it like to say goodbye to me? How did you feel when you dropped me off at grad school on the opposite end of the country? What was it like the first time I flew my future husband across the country to meet you? How did you feel when you shook his hand for the first time? What was it like to see me in my wedding gown? What did you feel when you watched me walk down the aisle?

What is it like for you now? How do you feel when I tell you I am pregnant? What was it like the first time you saw me holding my firstborn? What was it like for you the first time you held my firstborn? What are your thoughts on my parenting? How do you feel about my son? About my daughter? About the child we said goodbye to, too early? How did you feel when I shared my miscarriage? What do you think about my career? How do you feel about my mental health? What goes through your mind when I tell you about therapy? What do you think about my husband? How do you feel when you step into my home and see the family I’ve created? How do you feel when I tell you stories about my children?

I was just wondering.

Love,

Your daughter.

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Happy birthday to my son

My son had a birthday on Saturday! Here is a letter that I wrote to him.

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To my handsome four year old,

Today is your birthday! Four years ago today, I held my breath until I heard your soft cry on the warming table. Only after you began crying did I remember to ask if you were a boy or girl! You came into this world a bit too early, and yet you met all of your milestones early! You were a scrawny newborn who quickly grew into a 90th percentile weight (and 30th percentile height) fat little baby. Today, you are 75th percentile height and weight, and are a well-proportioned little kid with 6 pack abs and clearly visible calves and quads. Those wrestling sessions with Daddy sure are paying off!

This has been your biggest year yet! You started swimming lessons!! You are the happiest kid in the pool, laughing hysterically the whole time! You also started reading. You can read all of the Bob Books Set 1 fluently and comprehend it all! I am so proud of you. You can sound out words like “peekaboo” and “sinking,” which seems phenomenal to me!

You also became a big brother. Wow. I am seeing your empathetic side flourish as you spend time with your sister. One time when I let someone hold her, you asked, “Where’s our baby girl?” We have caught you on video talking to her and giving her toys, and trying the console her when she starts crying. Being a big brother was a huge adjustment for you, and yet your love for her brings tears to my eyes. Thank you for being so gentle.

Right now, your favorite food is the Super Kingpin quesadilla from Moe’s! Everyone is so surprised when you eat it all! Your favorite color is green (on most days). You have never tasted candy, and you choose carrots or peas for snacks. Your favorite movies are anything Thomas Trains. You love all music, and you have been known to bust out dance moves during church worship. And we don’t even go to *that* kind of church!

I love you so much, and you have taught me more than you could ever know. Patience, gentleness, prayer. My favorite moment of all time was the first time you were being corrected for a tantrum and you stopped crying and asked God to forgive your sins and help you make wise choices. Daddy and I had not taught you that, but it was evident at that moment that God was speaking to your heart.

Your smile melts my heart. I hope you have a happy birthday. I love you more than you could ever imagine.

Mommy

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