This will not be a long post, well, not likely.
I just want to give something to my youngest daughter she can hold someday when she is old enough to appreciate it.
That is… How much I love her.
Having a second child is a gift. How simple to state it so, but I mean it so sincerely. She came into my heart like a blazing fire, and no matter what has happened since that day, I know she is here for a reason. This is to bring me such sweet joy – and I say that selfishly, for I know she is destined for so much more. Right now, though, I solely reap the benefits of this precious being… She brings me such pure peace and gratitude…
Her love is whole and knows no understanding of condition; I know every face she makes, I know what every sound means, and I know that she is a funny girl, with happiness evident in the simplest moments adults easily take for granted. I know when she needs to be held, and that although she may wiggle to break free from my embrace, I know all I have to do to beckon her back to me is get on the floor and smile… her grin stretches from ear to ear, her voice squeals with excitement, and she waddles back where she belongs – held tightly in my arms.
I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that no other being on this earth knows her like I do. And, dare I say, nobody loves her nor will ever love her with as much loyal, good intention as her mother. I say this not to beat out the paternal competition, but rather just so she knows, in my own way, I will give, support, and encourage her no matter what. No matter when.
That is what my job is on this earth. After all I could have accomplished, and all I may have done, I will measure the success of my life one day when I am old and wise by watching the women my daughters become, and if they still know then that my purpose was solely to love them as perfectly as an imperfect woman can.
Tonight, I walked upstairs and crept into her room, as I always do. I ran my fingers lightly over her soft skin and reverently thanked God for the fact of her existence.
Coming out of what I have with her father, and being too aware of the present state of our “relationship”, I can only hope and pray my child only ever sees that I know she was worth it. Had I never once loved her father, despite how I feel about him now, she would not be mine. She would not be the perfect, happy baby I get to hold each day…
And I guess this is true for both of my daughters, but especially for my Jemma… because things are so difficult between her father and me, that baby has a deep place in my heart. The place where I learned to sacrifice my own happiness because I thought it was best for her. The place where I had convinced myself to remain tied to an unhappy marriage because I figured an intact home would be better than a broken one.
The funny thing is now that AJ is gone, I find myself still thanking God despite the “broken home” she will grow to know as normal. Now, well, now I get to devote my time to loving HER, instead of trying to wrangle her father into the choice to do what is “right” by our family.
Now that he is gone, I get her all to myself, minus the drama I always hated.
She is walking now, and every time I see her wee frame standing tall, wabbling to and fro, I curse the pace of which time has moved since her birth. How can it be she is nearly one and already upright and mobile? How can it be that she can point to a tree and say, articulately, “what?” — she wasn’t supposed to grow this fast! I yearn for tiny toes and sweet late-night feedings we shared just us two. I yearn for the moments a mother shares with an infant before she can crawl, when what she needed most was me. Selfish as that may seem, all I mean is that I feel she’s growing too fast.
If I were to ever have another child, and no I don’t plan on it, but if I did, I would only hope I never forget what it felt like to hold Jemma for the first time. To smell her sweet skin, and feel her fingers wrap around one finger… I hope I never forget what I feel right now: True, passionate love for a baby girl more precious to me than the rarest treasure.
I am so thankful that I get to be her mother. So touched that God trusted me with something so perfect.
A mommy ought to love her children like this, though I know few whom would articulate it the way I do; all children deserve such love, no?
My girls, I must say, got rather lucky. Because when God gave me two daughters, He knew the amount of feeling I would hold for both of then could never be matched by any lesser woman. They deserve that, and I intend to spend the rest of my life giving them nothing less than everything they deserve.
To my baby, sweet Jemmy… Mommy loves you, boo-boo, and I will never cease to be amazed by your accomplishments – even if all you’re doing is standing at your baby toys, “dancing” to the ABC’s. Even if all you’re doing is learning how to walk, or say your first words. All babies do this, I know, but to me, you are a genius, and you are made perfect by the Master Potter.
From your big brown eyes, a trait you got from your Mama that just we two share (since sister’s eyes are the bluest of blue like her daddy…) to your little hands already so eager to explore this world, and your perfect mouth so ready to talk and share and laugh… You, my lovely sweet angel, are the beating of my wild heart calmed. You are the shore to every ocean I have never seen, and you are the sunset on a horizon painted beautifully by the hand of God.
You are my dearest. My sweet surrender of love on my knees as I pray for all you will become.
Know now that I love you, and I always, always will.