Two and a half years ago, while pregnant with my daughter, I started a journal to my unborn child. I had a lot of questions, fears and emotions (imagine that: an emotional pregnant woman!) Mostly I just felt like I had a lot to say to this little baby growing inside me, but I felt like a complete a-hole actually walking around talking to her. I have always had a much easier time writing rather than talking, especially when it comes to any subject that registers on an emotional scale of more than .0005. I can barely stutter my way through a difficult face-to-face conversation, but I can bare my soul on paper. That is part of the reason I started this blog in the first place: I had a lot to say, but was too chicken shit to actually SAY any of it.
So for these reasons, I started a journal to my unborn child. I have kept up with it since her birth, although not as often as I would like as actually having a child takes up most of my time. However, I hope to continue writing in it and saying all the things that I can never actually say to her until I feel that the time is right to give the journal to her.
A few days ago was my daughter Lyla’s second birthday. And rather than writing a separate blog post about the immeasurable ways that she has changed my life in the two years since she was born, instead I am going to share with you the entry that I made into my daughter’s journal.
A little over two years ago, I was anxiously awaiting your arrival. I was full of questions and fears, and there was so much that I did not know. Now, you are two years old, and I am full of new questions and fears. I am still learning every day, and thank goodness you are a kind and patient teacher. One thing that I have learned in the last two years is how little I knew until the day you came into my life.
I knew that I would love you, but I didn’t know what this kind of love meant. I had no idea that this depth of love was even possible until you showed me how.
I didn’t know how addicting your smell would be.
I knew that you would change my life, but I didn’t know how much you would change me. You have made me stronger than I ever imagined, more patient than I ever thought possible, and more compassionate than I ever dreamed I could be. You have brought out the best in me, and shown me parts of myself that I didn’t even know existed.
I knew that you would make me a better mother, but I didn’t know that you would make me a better daughter, wife, sister and friend. I didn’t know you would make me a better person.
I didn’t know what amazing conversations we would have, even at the age of two.
I knew you would be my daughter, but I didn’t know you would be my confidant, my partner in crime, my fashion critic, my favorite companion and my best friend.
I knew that I would have much to teach you, but I didn’t know how much you would teach me. Every. Single. Day.
I didn’t know such big farts could come out of such a little person.
I didn’t know that once I became a mom, I could never unbecome one, even if I wanted to just for an hour or two. I didn’t know that even when you are not there, you are always in my mind and my heart.
I didn’t know how hard I could laugh.
I didn’t know how much I would worry. Every second. Every minute. Every day. I also didn’t know how this could possibly be a bittersweet thing. I worry so much because I love you so fiercely. And even though worrying can be exhausting, that kind of love feels good. So I embrace the worrying. I do know that you don’t understand what this means, but I hope that you have your own child someday and then you will know.
Lyla, there is so much that I didn’t know then and that I still don’t know now. I have made many mistakes over the past two years, and I am sure that I will make so many more before you ever read this. The one thing I do know is that my love for you somehow grows every day. I know that you inspire me, amaze me, and make me happier than I ever thought I could be. I know I must be doing ok at this mom thing, because you are the most incredible little person that I have ever met. Happy birthday my beautiful daughter. I love you more than you will ever know.