Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A letter to my daughter

Dear Lila,
You are one year and 11 days old today.  It's as though you were waiting to turn one so that you could shed your infancy in one fell swoop.  At 366 days old you walked across the kitchen to me with no prompting at all - this after weeks and weeks of failed prodding and bribing on my part.  That same day you began to string "sentences" together of complete nonsense, but you look at me with such seriousness and confidence that I'm sure you mean what you say...whatever that might be.  Within that precious 24 hours, you multiplied the number of teeth in your mouth by 3 (you had two, and now you have six).  I got you up the next morning to find a toddler in your bed, my baby had melted away overnight.  What are you doing to me!?

The very first thing you do when I get you up in the morning now that you're a grownup is point to your CD player.  I say, "Do you want your music?" and you bounce up and down in my arms in response.  Then we walk over to the dresser and I push play.  There is a still silence for a moment while we wait for the player to wake up (it's rather finicky).  You are so patient in your anticipation of that familiar clapping of the first track and when it begins, you grin and sway back and forth.  Your daddy and I so often say how glad we are that you love music as we do.

This morning I sat in the rocking chair your daddy built for us, listening to Elizabeth Mitchell (our very favorite) and watching you take your Noah's Ark animals out of the ark, talk to them, and then put them back in.  I imagined that you were saying, "Now little giraffe, your neck is quite long and you really must try to keep it to yourself.  The other animals are complaining that you are crowding them.  Now back to bed with you."

You were wearing your fuzzy leg warmers that you got for your birthday and a Christmas tree onesie.  Your hair was endearingly disheveled and your round cheeks were chapped and rosy.  I found myself outside of my body telling the temporal me to take it in, this will soon be gone!  In obedience, I turned on my senses and smelled your shampoo (Daddy gave you a bath yesterday) and leaned down to kiss your cheek and then closed my eyes and listened to Elizabeth Mitchell singing.  And, silly me, I began to cry because this is what she was singing:

rest your head, my angel; stay here by my side
i've been doing some thinking and you've been on my mind
oh you're growing up so fast right before my eyes
you don't have to figure everything out; you just take your time

listen here:

I think you saw me close my eyes because you crawled over to me and pulled up on the rocking chair and tried to climb into my lap.  I lifted you up into the chair with me and then you just about killed me.  You laid your head on my chest and said, "Mom-meeee" the way you do, but softly.  I let out a moan and felt as though I would melt into the chair.  It was just too much for my fragile mommy heart to bear.  

My daddy, your Pop, used to "scold" me on each of my birthdays saying, "I told you not to get any bigger!  You disobeyed me!"  Now I know exactly what he meant.

I've been doing some thinking and you've been on my mind.  Oh, you're growing up so fast! Right before my eyes!  You don't have to figure everything out.  You just take your time.  Please, just take your time.


P.S. to blog readers: Matt and Molly have what should be the final hearing to determine the transition plan for Waverley on Wednesday at 10:30am.  Please keep them in your prayers over the next 48 hours. This is the last leg of this race as far as we can tell.  Let's finish well and pray fervently for favor with the courts and a miracle.


Katy said...

Oh Gosh Kelsey,
I have tears in my eyes. They do grow up way too fast. You have a wonderful way with words. And yes, I will continue to pray for M&M and Waverly.

Bethany said...

aaaaand I'm crying.

Jami Nato said...

ohhhhh what a sweet moment. maybe it's time for another little peanut??

Stewart Family Blog said...

beautiful, kelsey! sweet lila is getting so big and is quite simply the cutest lila in the world. miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

sweet , sweet blog. of course as your mommy and lila's nanny i have read and relished your words a few times. it reminds me of the still vivid snapshot memories i have of those precious times with you as a babe and toddler when i just did not want moments to end. they melt you and bring you to your knees. God is good.

Kelly G said...

Hi there...you do not know me, but I might just be your link to Elizabeth Mitchell via Chris Bonness. I got here through a Molly Nagel post and this is what I think...we might just be the same person. (you should know that I am basing this on only 2 things, really. 1) a love of the Isaiah scripture. 2) the giraffe dialogue. Well, 3) Elizabeth Mitchell. I am not suggesting any strange coffee shop meeting, just smiling at all of these heart warming posts. (and my husband saying, "oh jeez" with each thing I read to him!

Blessings, Kelly G

Kelsey said...

Ok you totally made me cry lady! Such a great post...and sooo true! I am shocked at how much MY Lyla is changing every day..getting more verbal...more hair...more teeth...more sensitive to people's needs and what we expect of her. Thanks so much for the reminder to take things slowly and savor these precious baby moments while we can!! Oh and p.s. SO excited to meet another Kelsey...and another Lyla! You have great taste in names by the way! ;)