I am so excited to be participating in the Letters to our Daughters project. As is obvious from the title, each month I will be writing a letter to my daughters and posting photos along with it – and linking to other wonderful photographers who are also mothers of daughters, who are doing the same. I have wanted to write letters to my girls since before they were born, and even started a few, but never managed to finish them. I am so happy that this project has provided the impetus for me to finish a letter! My first letter is below. After you’ve read it, please follow the links on each post and make your way around the circle, starting with Kerry Varnum’s first letter to her daughters HERE.
Dearest Avery and Alexa,
My Little Loves, My Crazy Monkeys, My Little Monsters, My Gorgeous Baby Girls. You are the most magical creatures I have ever met. I am so lucky to be your mom, so lucky to have this incredible family. You make me so happy, make me work to be a better person, and make life so much more fun. Almost every day, at some point or another, your Dad and I will look at each other, overwhelmed by just how wonderful you are. We are so very in love with you. You make our lives and our world so exciting.
Avery, after you were born, your dad and I used to stare at you for hours. We couldn’t believe that we’d made you, that you were ours to keep. When you were very small, you wanted to be held all the time. In the evenings, you would sleep soundly on my chest or lap, or on your dad, but if we tried to put you down you would wake up and cry, so we simply held you most all the time. Sometimes it would get tiring, or we’d want to eat dinner, but mostly we couldn’t get enough. I knew, from the very start, that the days of your wanting to be held by your mama wouldn’t last forever, and I wasn’t going to pass up those opportunities. We are lucky that your love to cuddle has not diminished. I know that it will end, one of these days, but I love that you will still tell us, urgently, “I need a snuggle!” And we will cuddle up, in bed or on the couch, and enjoy it for a little while longer.
Alexa, you have always had an inner calm. Early on in my pregnancy with you things were scary, but eventually, even before you were born, I got to know you. Your peaceful soul calmed me, made me feel secure that we were going to be ok. You weren’t as demanding when you were a baby as Avery, but you figured out how to tell us when you wanted to be held. You reach your arms up in the air and your hands do little grabs to say, pick me UP! It’s the most adorable thing in the world. When your dad comes home from work, you always call out to him, letting him know that you’ve missed him, and you walk over to him in your adorable, belly-first little walk, with your arms out. You are such a loving baby. Holding you is so calming, it’s almost like a drug.
These days, the two of you are often as interested in spending time together as you are in spending time with me or your dad. Watching you play together more and more makes me so happy. You wake up in the morning and are happy to see the other (and even wake the other up, despite my protests). Mornings are one of my favorite times, because you wake up wanting to snuggle, but before long the two of you are up and ready to play. Avery, your imagination has grown recently, so we often find that the plug for the iPhone is being used to catch fish, or that we are trapped on the bed, which you explain is surrounded by crocodiles or sharks. Alexa, you love to join in on these games, except when you are told that you ARE the crocodile or the shark, and then you are not so pleased. You don’t want to be left out like that! And truly, Avery, you are a wonderful big sister. You introduce your sister to all of your friends, saying, “This is my baby, Alexa.” You try to include her in your games all the time, age appropriate or not. Alexa, even though you only have a few words so far, you are very good at pretending to be a dog – sticking your tongue out and panting – so that you can play along with Avery (and all of us, who are regularly required to pretend to be dogs, often for quite a bit longer than Mommy and Daddy are interested in playing).
Sometimes I think about this time in our lives and I realize that it is going to pass too quickly, and that you won’t even remember much of it. That is so much of why I take so many pictures. I want, more than anything, for you to see just how very much you are loved, and just how much fun we have. I want to find ways give you memories for all these fun times – the baths, playing with toys and games, baking, pretending, having dance parties and going on adventures – even if you won’t remember. But some things need more than just pictures – sometimes you need words as well. So I am really looking forward to writing you these letters each month, to tell you it all.