Dear Nikaia,

The first thing that I want to tell you is that I love you. Because you were born into the family you were, you will hear these words a lot. Your dad and I will tell you, your sibling(s) will tell you, your aunts and uncles and cousins and all of your extended family will tell you. I am sure your friends will tell you. I want to make sure that you know what those words mean coming from me. I have never loved anyone or anything as much as I love you. Your unexpected arrival into my life changed it in more ways than I can count, every single one of them amazing positive changes that I wouldn’t trade for anything. I wanted you for so long, and finally having you is the highlight of my whole life. It changed everything. My love for you, as your mother, is stronger than any other love in the whole world. If I could take every ounce of pain, every tear, every discomfort, and replace it all with all of the love, happiness, and joy in the world I would do whatever it took to make that happen.

There are so many things I hope for you. So many things I wish I could give to you and guarantee you have in your life. More than anything, I want you to be happy. Truly, fully, overwhelmingly happy. I want every trial and tribulation you encounter in life to make you a stronger person. I want you to find a purpose in life that brings you fulfillment. I want you to know what it is like to truly love someone as a partner in this life, and to be loved in return. I want you to feel the love I have, as a mother, for you with your own children. I want you to feel the reward of helping others and giving selflessly. I want you to feel the accomplishment that comes from getting up after you have been knocked down. I want you to know what it feels like to turn something negative in your life into a life lesson and become a better person as a result. I would never wish pain on you, and if I could take every ounce of pain in your life away from you I would in a heart beat, but since I can not do that I want those painful experiences to bring you strength and show you what an amazing person you are. I want you to recognize what a beautiful, valuable person you are, inside and out, and for you to be able to recognize that same beauty and value in others.

Right now you are only 8 months old, but you are an amazing little creature. It’s hard to describe how it feels to watch this teeny little person you gave birth to slowly grow and change right before your eyes. Sometimes I can’t believe that you are ours, that we get to experience this life with you every single day. Other times I feel like you have been here all along, we just hadn’t met you yet. You fit into our family like we were made just for you and without you we would be different people. Watching you grow has been, and always will be, one of the most important and profound experiences of my life. The first time you said “Mama”, the first time you clapped, the first time you held your own bottle, the first time you giggled, the first time you pulled yourself up… These moments are the moments that have brought me so much joy that I literally felt like I could not contain it. I never would have guessed that you babbling at me and touching my face would be one of the most special experiences in my life, but it is.

As we bring a new little life into this family, a little brother or sister, I can’t help but reflect on how amazing YOU are. I will always love you for exactly who you are, whoever you choose to become. You have the very best of me, and always will.

I love you. Forever.

Mom

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