Friday, November 30, 2007

Year The Third

Dear Harper,

Earlier this month you turned three years old. Normally I try to write to you on or very near your birthday. The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of visitors, visiting, illness, celebrations, travel, and holiday preparations. The time has really gotten away from me, but, as this month draws to a close, I wanted to make sure to take a few moments to let you know how special you are in your mother's eyes.

I won't sugar coat it kid, age two has not been your prettiest. You are smart, strong-willed, funny, and creative. I believe these qualities will help you become a phenomenal woman. They also mean you are not an easy girl to raise. That's okay, I never asked for easy. I love that you are strong and smart, even if it means you try to figure out seventeen ways to get around just about anything I ask you to do.

You are not a baby, at all, anymore. It is almost heartbreaking to write that, but I can no longer deny it. You aren't even a toddler. You're a little girl. Sure you're taller and your hair is longer, but what has really stunned me about this past year is the way your personality has blossomed. You speak so much more clearly now, anyone who spends time with you can understand. This strikes me as a mixed blessing, you no longer need me to be your interpreter to the world, you can share ideas all on your own. While I know that's what is supposed to happen, that year after year there will be all kinds of ways in which you need me a little less, it still hurts my heart just a tiny bit. I take hope from the fact that, at age 31, I still think of turning to my mother for answers and reassurance and I hope that 28 years from now, you'll still know you can come to me for anything.

Little blips are disappearing from your speech like crazy these days. You can make "sp" and "sm" sounds the way they are supposed to be, instead of coming out sounding like "f." So you now say, "smile," instead of, "file." You've also nearly always pronounced "l" as "y;" so you, "yiked" something instead of, "liking" it. While you still do this to a degree, the other day you said "yellow" just as clear as a bell, "l's" and all. I worry sometimes that I'll forget all these things you have done on your way to being grown, which is why I write them down.

Your imagination is something to behold, and that has been one of your most wonderful gifts because it allows you to entertain yourself for hours on end. I love playing with you, of course, though it can't be done every hour of every day. I'm so glad you are able to create little worlds for yourself. You assign names and stories to nearly everything you interact with and you are always asking, "Why?" about everything! I love watching you tackle problems and figure things out for yourself.

I have always loved you, of course, and now I find myself so excited to get to know the person you are becoming. When you talk to me, it is a little window into what you are thinking. I love the glimpses I get into how your mind works.

The next year is going to bring lots of changes for you. Naturally you'll do lots of learning and growing over the coming twelve months. You are also going to start preschool and become a big sister. I have no idea how you are going to react to either of those things, I don't believe three-year-olds are known for being comfortable with change. Even if the transitions are difficult I truly believe you are going to love going to school, learning, and interacting with other children. And when May comes around I am certain that you are going to be a wonderful big sister, with one more person in the world to recognize the special girl that you are.

I love you Harper and I wish I could express it eloquently enough to make you understand the depth of my love. I hope I'm showing you every day how proud I am to be your mother. I can't wait to see what this next year brings.



Anonymous said...

I just wanted you to know that this letter to Harper brought tears to my eyes. It summarizes much of what I feel for my little girl as well. These girls are amazing as they grow, aren't they?

Sara Flaherty

McMolten said...

As sure as the sun rising in the morning, one post every year makes this man cry. Harper is so happy to have you as a mother, and I am so glad you'll be sharing that love with another little one next year... I love you Sis!