It has been far too long since I wrote to you. I think of letters daily, small memories that I try so hard to remember so that I can capture them for you. The blessings you bring to our every day. Sadly there is just never enough time to write everything I want to write for you.
I want you to know that this time in our lives is both difficult and joyful. Being Barrow's and your mother (as well as your daddy's wife) brings joy and fulfillment that I never thought to hope for. I feel such unabashed love for you and our little family. I know I was born to fill these roles, to be this woman. And I am grateful for that awareness because it makes these days that much more enjoyable. But being a parent, especially in Manhattan, is hard. We struggle financially. We have a seemingly infinite number of relationships to build and maintain. Though we have a strong, supportive community in the city, many of these friends live far away in Brooklyn. And we are just always so busy - between work and family dinners and quality time together, there seems to be little give. Your father and I have sacrificed regular trips to the gym. I've given up reading as much as I used to, while your father has not had as much time to write as he once did. These are the personal sacrifices we make to ensure you grow up secure, loved, known. They are well worth it, but must be made nonetheless.
If there were one adjective to describe you right now, it would still be sweet. You have the most kind disposition, good-natured to the core. We cannot go out without someone telling us how beautiful you are. I'm trying to make sure this does not go to your head, trying to remind myself to compliment your intelligence (which is just as impressive) but find it hard not to tell you a million times a day how pretty you are. You love to dance, asking first thing every morning to put on your pink ballet dress and dance for us. We play classical music while you jump and run across the carpet in our living room. You love to read, spending hours each night in your bedroom, in the dark, "reading" stories. You have an active imagination and love to pretend to be mommies ("Mommy, I'm the horse's mommy." "Mommy, when I'm a mommy can I wear that?" "Mommy, Abby is crying for me and I'm her mamma."). We have been reading Angelina Ballerina on repeat, as well as Miss Lina's Ballerinas. You love all of the Bernstein Bears books. You are an adoring big sister, and Barrow loves you so.
I pray that one day you will know this kind of joy, my sweet.
I love you, your brother and your daddy more than anything ever. You are my family, and I couldn't be happier.
* You love to be held. There is very little time during the day when I'm not wearing you. And that, I think, has given us a special connection. You know how I smell, and feel comforted when we are together.
* Smiles started at about 7-weeks. We had our first "game," where I jumped every time you hiccuped. You loved it.
* You are a grunter and your toots can wake your family up!
* You are SO much bigger than your sister. At 8-weeks you weigh 12.5 pounds. It took Alice at least 4 months to weigh that! I love it - our big man.
* You adore your sister. She gets the biggest smiles from you - and she loves getting them. She dotes on you constantly, giving you hugs and kisses whenever she sees you. She holds you every morning.
* A memory I hope to hold: On Christmas Eve, we were driving home from dinner at your Uncle Tyler's house. You were totally exhausted and began screaming (which you just don't do). Nothing I was doing could calm you. So Alice started singing "Mamma's gonna buy you a mocking bird." I joined in. Within 30 seconds, you were calm. Within a minute, you were asleep.
I love you, your sister and your daddy more than anything ever.
"But when she stepped off the train in New York, her plain little face looked beautiful for a moment, as if the future were opening before her and its glow were already upon her forehead, as if she were eager and proud and ready to meet it..."