To My Five Year Old Daughter

12 months of crying when my period came. 12 months of Googling “I’ve taken 8 pregnancy tests and they’re all negative. Could I be pregnant?”. People telling me “just relax” {P.S. no one wants to hear that when they’re trying to get knocked up}. 12 months of seemingly every female on Facebook announcing pregnancies while I wondered if the bloat from my McChicken could mean I was pregnant. 12 months of laying in my bed with my ankles over my head after I had sex. 12 months of tracking ovulation and putting my husband on a schedule. That’s right, a sex schedule because that’s romantic. 12 months of buying unnecessary pregnancy tests before I even missed my period. 12 months of looking at baby names for a baby that did not exist. 12 months of every person in my life asking when Waylon and I would have a baby. 12 months of Pinteresting nursery decor. 12 months of trying to just freakin’ get pregnant.

I hope any of you who are having trouble conceiving don’t feel like I’m being insensitive now that I have three kids. In fact, just the opposite. Struggling for a year to conceive gave me a small glimpse into your world and it’s a struggle no one can fully understand until they’ve lived it. Not every family’s story ends the way ours did and apparently a year to get pregnant isn’t that uncommon. But that didn’t matter while I was staring at a single blue line on a pregnancy test. All I longed for was to have a beebee in my belly. Those 12 months included a lot of heartache and unanswered questions in my mind. In the end, those 12 long months, plus another 37 weeks of pregnancy were worth all the love that filled my heart when this baby was born. bella2

Hind sight is 20/20 and I’m about 99.9% sure the Good Lord was trying to teach me patience because, boy, was I going to need it with my first born. A mom really doesn’t comprehend just how little patience she has until she’s standing in front of a toddler who is crying hysterically in the kitchen floor because the corner of her Pop-Tart fell off.

Image result for are you serious gifOr because when she asked for a cup of milk, the answer was ‘yes’ {yes, you read that correctly #confused}. Or because a bubble in the bathtub touched her hand. Then repeat situations just like that every fifteen minutes. All day long. Mix in some tears over actual problems like scraping her knee or dumping a cup of milk on her lunch. At the end of the day, fight with her for a couple of hours to fall asleep. Have a five minute conversation with your husband about why you’re so tired then stay awake all night pleading with this same toddler to go back to sleep. Repeat for approximately three years and go ahead and add a couple more kids, ya know, just in case you thought you were figuring out how to be a bit more patient.

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Now here you are, five years old and the days of never-ending crying and meltdowns are long gone. We made it, girl friend. With the help of family and the perfect combination of coffee and wine, I still have a smidgen of sanity left to get me through the rest of your childhood and teen years. I’m well aware those are going to be much tougher than fighting with you over socks. But right now, I’ll just be over here basking in this fun age.

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The age where everything is magical and your eyes light up at the mention of something as small as working on a new puzzle together. You’re eager to help with dishes and laundry and cooking. You drag your little brother around like he’s your very own real-life rag doll and he loves it just as much as you. It’s almost like having a little mommy assistant. The age of imagination and mermaids and princesses and all the pink. Skipping through the house at high-speed and singing to yourself while you poop. The princess night gowns. Sparkly dress up clothes. My fridge covered in Doc McStuffins coloring sheets. 4 a.m. pitter patters from your room to my bed. Excitement over Happy Meal toys and new boxes of crayons. Cute little My Little Pony panties and blowing bubbles until I’m light headed. A bathtub full of way too many toys. Your face when we tell you we’re going on a trip; it doesn’t matter where. The zoo, the local Dollar General…the excitement is written all over your face. The giggles when you’re dropped off at a grandparent’s house and the stories you have when you come home. Age five is like my very own little reward for keeping us both alive through your toddler years. All these things that are taken for granted most days, I’ll miss. So much, I’ll miss. Watching you grow and learn and navigate the world around you has been an extraordinary experience…and we’re only five years in! I have no doubt that you’ll grow up to do the most wonderful things and no one on this planet will be more proud of you than your daddy and me. bella1

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To your future mother-in-law, I hope you’re teaching that boy of yours a whole lotta patience and the art of being sensitive. This girl requires it. She’s the one I can’t say #shegetitfromhermomma and I don’t think I ever will. We are so very opposite. I’ve had to learn to meet Bella where she is because she’s the child and I’m the mom. I’m growing and learning right along with her. To be sensitive to those quirks of hers. To be mindful of her insecurities. To encourage and love and hold my temper {and my tongue}. And patience. Oh, the patience.

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When she’s disappointed, you’ll know it. When she’s scared, you’ll know it. When she’s over the moon excited, you’ll know it. Bella loves hard. Give her the attention and the affection, then give her some more because she can’t get enough of it and she’ll repay you tenfold. Every time. Bella is only five, but I can already tell you this girl will undoubtedly go through life being cautious of who she lets in. If you’re in, you better cherish it and you hold on to it and you nurture it. She’ll be the one to do anything for the ones she loves, no questions asked. The kind of girl you want to be your #rideordie. The friend to give you a hug when you probably don’t even deserve it {I know because I’ve been there}. bellabirthday2

We’ve cried many tears together in these short five years. We’ll cry many many more in the years to come. But, every single time, I’ll be right beside you. I won’t always be able to fix it. Just like I couldn’t put that corner of the Pop-Tart back in place. But as long as I’m breathing, you won’t go through it alone. bella9

 

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