Today is your birthday my sweet little one. I can not believe you are 4! It feels just like yesterday when I first heard you cry. When they placed you in my arms and our eyes met for the first time. When the sound of my voice was the most soothing sound you’d ever heard. Watching you smile for the first time and hearing you say “momma”, these are the moments I will treasure forever. When you decided crawling wasn’t your thing, but scooting around on your butt, now that was cool. The three year gap between you and your sister meant nothing to you, if she could do it so could you. You were and are so determined! With each exciting adventure came a sense of sadness for me. I realized that your firsts were my lasts. With you, I’m experiencing all of my ‘last times’. You are the last piece to our puzzle. You are my last baby. All I can do is hope I’m doing a good enough job to remember the feeling I have at this very moment.
I hope one day when you read this letter you won’t feel like the last of anything. Rather, the one that completed our story. I got to experience this journey with your sister first, which was incredible in its own sweet way, but you my love, gave me everything I needed one last time! It’s your birthday my beautiful child, I write this with tears in my eyes, happy tears but of course...
Dear Miss Aleena Hope,
I loved you even before I met you. I loved the way you felt inside. I loved the way you’d hide and find a safe spot when things were to chaotic out in the real world. Yet when it was quiet and just us, you celebrated with kicks and twirls from the inside. I remember seeing you for the first time, that beautiful face, those big brown eyes and all that hair. So very different than your big sister. My birthing story, though the end result was the same as your sisters, a c-section, the experience was so different. It was perfect, it was special, it was ours...yours and mine. I still remember your scent, your soft skin and the way you would look at me. That perfect latch, from the very beginning to the sweet sound of your suckle. You’d always place your one hand on my chest, something you still do now, your safe place I suppose. With every milestone, my heart felt pain. Not because you weren’t reaching them, oh boy were you surpassing them. But because I knew these were experiences I would never have again. Now, don’t get me wrong, with every milestone I cried but I also jumped for joy. I soaked up as much of you and your achievements as I possibly could! I love that you can’t pronounce the letter ‘R’ and I love the sound of your little voice. I love when you sing your heart out and you look at me for affirmation. I look over at your sister and we both laugh at the silliness of you! She loves you so much! I think that alone, is our greatest accomplishment, giving the each of you, each other! The love and passion you have for each other is beyond anything I could have imagined. Though these last moments make me sad...the new memories bring me so much joy.
Can I tell you a secret? I LOVE that you still come to our bed at 2am every single night. You are my last, which means I can do whatever I want. Screw the books and recommendations; don’t let your child sleep in your bed, sleep train your child, co-sleeping is a bad habit blah blah blah...I listened to all of that with your sister, because it was my first! I’ve realized now, the time I have with my babies is priceless and it’s speeding right past me. One day, you won’t want to sleep with me ever again, so for now, this is my chance to take in as much of you as I can. I lay there and I watch you. I thank God for you and your sister. I cry... no one will ever know just how much I cry for you both. The beginning of a beautiful love story always has a happily ever after...and this is our story, you my dear are the happily ever after!
Happy birthday hokim. May your wishes always come true. May you always dream big and believe in yourself because I always will! Your smile and laughter are contagious. Your beauty is breathtaking. You are mine and I am yours and I thank God for that everyday...