As you probably recall, I have been participating in a blog circle with some wonderful photographers who are also mothers of girls. Each month, we write a letter to our daughters to preserve thoughts and memories of this time in our lives. I treasure being able to do this for my girls and I love the chance to see the messages that my friends leave for their own daughters. Once you have read my letter, please follow continue on and read the post that my dear friend Colie of Colie James Photography has written to her adorable daughter, Chloe. Chloe turned three this week, so be sure to head on over there and wish her a happy birthday by clicking HERE.
Dear Avery and Alexa,
My monkeys, my trouble-makers, my little loves. Time is flying and you are getting so big. There are people all around us who are pregnant or have recently had babies, and I look at you two and you are not babies anymore – you are both little girls now. And, of course, you will always be my babies.
I remind you of this, Avery, all the time lately, because you have taken to telling me that you are a “big girl” and obviously dispute my claims. But it is true, you are my baby, you will always be my baby. Even still, I am so impressed by how you’ve grown, though apprehensive about how quickly it all happens. Last summer you attended camp a few mornings for a couple weeks – the first time you were ever at “school” in an activity without me. This summer has been jam-packed with activities. Travel, camp at the zoo, camp at school, James visiting now. We are taking the last couple weeks off so that we can have some downtime before school starts again in the fall. I love how much you’ve learned and grown in these activities, but they make time go too fast sometimes. Although you’ve had camp that you could attend pretty much everyday, I have told you that you could stay home whenever you wanted to and those few days at home together – unexpected, unfilled with plans – have been truly wonderful. Often, when faced with the option of heading off to museums and cool locations throughout the city, you’d prefer to stick close to home, read some books, walk across the street to play at the playground. Those simple moments are the best and I am so grateful for the ways that you slow us all down.
Alexa, the changes in you in the last year are obviously even greater. You have been learning so much lately and your ability to express yourself and to do increasingly complicated things has been so impressive. You love to sing, especially the ABCs, and you managed to count to almost 20 with your dad just yesterday. I am constantly terrified on the playground because you love to tackle the pieces meant for kids much older – and most of the time you do it quite well. You’ve been wanting to grow up and be a big girl like your sister, so you are currently in bed wearing three pairs of underwear in addition to your diaper and pajamas. I’ve been blown away that you will use the potty by yourself if we are at home and you are naked (your preferred state these days), though you haven’t quite learned to distinguish between the functionality of underwear and a diaper. Soon enough, I am sure. With Avery participating in all these activities, you have become my daily companion most mornings. Although I admit that I get frustrated that you no longer are content to play while I respond to emails or attempt to edit some photos, these mother-daughter activities are so special to me. I love that we have our own breakfast place, or that after we drop Avery at camp in the morning you will first request “coffee” and then, after a trip to the coffee shop, you demand “playground.” You are a girl who knows what she wants and now you are able to ask for it. I hope that you always do.
This summer it has been especially rewarding to see your friendship deepen. I had hoped that, because you are close in age, you would become playmates, and it has been wonderful to see that wish come true. You really seem to be happiest when you are together. When I was taking these photos above, I had planned to take pictures of only one of you at a time. Neither of you had any interest in letting that happen, though, and it was really hard to have you separated. Although you don’t always need to do the exact same thing at the same time, you both prefer to be nearby to one another – playing with different toys, perhaps, but both on the floor of the living room. I know that Alexa is a little jealous that Avery gets to go off to school, and Avery gets a little jealous of the one-on-one time that Alexa gets with me. But luckily for all of us, most of the time you are just happy to be together. There is nothing that a parent could want more than to have their children extra loved because they are loved by one another. Truly, it’s the best thing ever. I love you both so much.