Friday, November 14, 2008


Dear T,

My last letter to you was lighthearted and fun. I don't want you to take this one less seriously because of it. Today you are eight. I have traveled to foreign countries and had great adventures and taken on various names in foreign languages. But nothing compares to what you symbolize.

Celebrating my oldest child's birthday is a funny thing. It marks the advent of motherhood. It makes me feel older. It reminds me of how far I've come. And it makes me stand back and realize that yes, indeed, you are no longer my baby. Somehow my brain continues to superimpose that baby face of yours onto your current features. When I step back and your eight year old face comes into focus, it is startling.

I don't think anyone is truly prepared to become a parent. And if your friends who are already parents are worth their salt, they won't really tell you what it's like. The emotional highs go higher, and the lows go lower. You realize that humans can actually survive on little-to-no sleep for long periods of time, though mental stability might go out the window. You wonder just how the human race perpetuates itself when so much work goes into a singular, tiny creature.

I distinctly remember one night. It was late and I was up feeding you. I was struggling with post-partum depression but I still had moments of true joy. As I cradled your tiny body against my shoulder, I worked on getting that elusive burp that always brought about your great contentment. I mulled over how physically close you were to my heart and how much I truly loved you. And at that moment, I just wanted to wrap my body around yours and keep you there, always, in this tiny form, forever. I knew it wasn't possible, so I cried.

But I am okay with it now. You are no longer an appendage of mine. You leave my side every day to go to school, and someone else watches over you. You come home safely and back into my arms, however briefly, before you head off into one of your adventures with toys or friends. You still have that cute little nose and deep, black eyes that fascinate me. But I no longer cuddle your tiny head against the curve of my neck and feel your downy newborn hair. I miss it, yet I welcome the future.

You are my daily reminder of the start of my greatest adventure of all.

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