I haven’t written you in a while. With work and traveling and your little brother on the way, life has been getting the better of me.
But I’ve been writing and rewriting this letter in my head every day. I’ve been taking mental snapshots and trying to hold onto these moments (I know I can’t), but mostly I’ve just been soaking them in.
You are a wonder, Bea. You really are. You are smart and happy and curious and fun. There are no ways to sum up the magic that you carry in your heart and soul. It is a wonder to witness you.
Last week we flew across country together. I was nervous because you’re so active right now and so curious, and I was sure you would be restless while trapped in the small seat for hours. I was right. You were restless. But for most of the flight you were delightful. You laughed with me and danced. You stared out the window and pointed at the “light.” (Light is one of your favorite words right now.) You charmed the other passengers. You cuddled with me.
There was this one perfect moment on one of our return flights when you were sleeping soundly, and I felt the perfect weight of you in my arms. and I just froze the moment in my heart. I’m so proud of who you are, and I love you so much. I feel so much joy around you all the time. It is such an honor to watch you grow and be, and in that moment I felt like: this is a beautiful, perfectly imperfect life.
Right now you love to wear bracelets. and hats. “hats” and sunglasses. You love shoes and socks. “sahhhks” and back packs. “bak-pak!”
You say “Hi! Hi! Hiii!” so enthusiastically when someone says hi to you. You say-sing “Pa-Paaaaaaaaa,” and you usually say mama when you need a hug or you’re in need.
You love music so much. You sing to yourself at all times of day. You sing your own version of twinkle, twinkle little star, but it’s right on tune.
You love to eat and to dance and to climb. You eat “waaa-fullls” every morning. You love to figure things out, how they work, how they move together. You’re in this sweet, huggy, leg clinging phase, and it’s so lovely and adorable and heart breaking and filling at the same time.
You’re getting heavier and it keeps reminding me that, these are the days. Every moment I stop to think, oh no, I’m going to miss these days, but then I realize that I just get to keep having new ones with you as you grow, and I love each new day equally to the last as if that was even possible (it is). It’s a beautiful, bittersweet, glorious ride–this life.
A few weeks ago I woke up to hear you sadly saying “Ma-ma, ma-ma, ma-ma.” You never call out to me like that when you’re in your room, so I jumped out of bed and ran to you, and you were burning with a fever. I was so worried about you, but also just so relieved that I’m your mom and that I was there for you and that I could take care of you. This is why I’m here.
I don’t think I stopped being me at all when I became your mom. I’ve stayed pretty true to myself although I have a bit less time to dwell on what me is (which is probably a good thing). But my heart changed. In this big, deep, life is so much bigger than me super cliched sorta way. I never got it before you came to be. I’d read about motherhood and heard women talk about it and always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I couldn’t understand the most important truth until it happened to me:
It was not becoming a mom that was so defining; it was becoming your mom.
And I just want to tell you (from the 32 year old me), to the future 32 year old you–that I don’t have it all figured out, this me thing or this mom thing or this career thing or wife thing. And sometimes that feels terrifying because it looks like so many other people have some magic secrets they’re not sharing, but the truth is I think that not having figured it out is the trick of it all. it’s the real truth. That this is life is not about figuring it out, it’s about continuing to ask the questions, continuing to think about what it is that needs to be figured out and why, and continuing to enjoy all the things you don’t understand completely yet or aren’t doing “perfectly” in the meantime. Because that perfectly imperfect and beautiful life you’re looking for is right before your eyes, happening in the meantime. In that hot plane with a bright blue sky out the window and a beautiful, perfect sleeping toddler who is lightly snoring in your arms.
You are so loved, my beanshine,