Do you know that after 2 years with you, I still look at you and can’t really comprehend that you are here. I have seen you grow up, but I am amazed that you exist and are growing up so very fast. It all makes me very afraid to blink.
Its hard to describe the past year in such a way that it can still be called a letter, but I’ll give it a try. For the first year of your life I felt like my main job was to protect you and provide for you. To be sure, that’s still in my job description and they still pay me to do exactly those two things. But seemingly, another has entered now - its called teaching.
Every morning, when I go in to get you out of bed, I open your door wide, step in your room and throw both my arms up in the air and say, “Peeeeeeete!” You most often respond with a smile and an “Uh oh”. I do it because I want you to know that I am excited to see you. Every single morning. No matter what.
There are days when you get bored with eating breakfast. I sit down in my chair in front of you and let you feed me a few piece of cereal. I know you’re just trying to get out of eating it yourself. But I also know that it makes you smile. So I do it anyway.
Sometimes when you are fussy, I pick you up and we dance in the kitchen. You love it when we twirl around and around. You squeal with delight and your little fingers clutch my shirt for all their worth. Recently if a song comes on the radio that you really like, you pull me into the kitchen and lift your arms high above your head - asking me to dance with you. I never turn you down.
When we go on walks, we often walk past the hospital which is just a block from our house. Along their sidewalk they have a metal railing of sorts. As we stroll by, I glide the stroller as close to the railing as possible, you reach out your arm and let your hand slide along the rail and tap against the posts. You laugh. Sometimes I run into the railing. Then I laugh. I never thought I would do something like this just because you like it.
We have this running joke where your Daddy says “Where’s Reagan?” and you, in response, make the most hilarious face - scrunching up your nose, squinting your eyes and showing all your teeth. Oh how you make us laugh.
You are a very considerate child. Whenever Daddy or I are sitting in the living room, you bring us a blanket to snuggle in. You love my necklaces and earrings and often like to examine my "pretties". You sometimes spin in circles in the living room until you get terribly dizzy and fall down - then you burst into giggles. You spend most of your entire day at "full speed". Though you occasionally sit down to read a book, you prefer to be moving, playing, running, laughing. Your favorite game is to run away from us when its time to brush your teeth. Every night as I listen to you giggle and scream as you find a hiding spot in your room, I smile. Its my favorite part of each day.
We don’t spank you very often, but that isn’t so much because you are not naughty. You are. Its more a reflection of the complete and utter ineffectiveness of corporal punishment when it comes to you. We have spanked you, but it didn’t phase you at all. And then to make us really fall all over ourselves you started “spanking” yourself. So more often you get timeouts - which you do not enjoy aside from the opportunity it provides you to examine my finely painted toenails.
You learned to talk this year. You say so many words: Uh-oh, No, Cookie, All done, Baby, Bug, Pray, Bible, Shoes, Outside, and Where’s the Daddy. Of course there are many more. But there are hundreds more that make sense only to you. You babble all the time. I love listening to your voice and trying to imagine what you will sound like when you are older.
And when you sleep at night, right before I go to bed I check on you and cover you up with your blankets. I lean over your crib and ever so lightly stroke your soft cheek with the backs of my fingers. And then I brush your hair back from your face and ears. I’ll lightly sweep your tiny curls away from your neck and let your downy hair drift through my fingers. Your Daddy likes to say I’m pestering you. But I’m just enjoying watching you sleep peacefully, soaking up this time that I have with you.
I like to write about all the many things we do together, because I know you won’t remember them. But I know, too, that someday when you have your own little one and you find yourself stroking the soft skin on their face as they lay in bed at night, sound asleep, you’ll know somewhere in your heart that your Mommy did this for you, too. But until then I want you to know how very much you are loved, every minute of every hour of every day of your life.
Someday Reagan, I’m going to go to heaven. I know that. I believe it with all my heart. And as much as I can, I am trying to teach you how much Jesus loves you. How if he were here on earth, he’d do all those things I do for you, and so much more. Because he loves you so very much he died for you. And I don’t mind if you can’t remember all the little games we play, all the songs we sing, all the times we laughed together, all the times you cried and I wiped away your tears. What matters, my little one, is that you live to know The King. Reagan, as much as I love you, Jesus loves you infinitely more. I pray that you will always believe that. You belong to Him.
Oh little one, I love you so. And so does He.