I remember practicing in my head exactly how I would hold you for the first time. The first time I did so, you were no more than just a few minutes old and our skin touched as we shared heartbeats. That moment changed me forever. It changed the world for me forever. I thought I had things fairly figured out. I thought I understood as much as I needed to about this life to feel fulfilled and to feel as though the choices I was making in how I lived my life mattered - mattered to the people I loved, mattered to me, mattered. Yet all that understanding and all that belief was shattered in a single moment of feeling your warmth against mine for the very first time. It's been almost 3 years now. 2 years, 9 months to be exact. We are in the home stretch of receiving our second little blessing. A new baby girl that will fill our world with even more warmth and love. In that anticipation, memories of these past 2 years and few months have begun to race through my mind reminding me of days that soon we will be saying good bye to forever. You have been our baby. My baby girl. My sunshine. I hear the echos of your first cries and your first laughter. I can see your first crawl and your first steps replaying in my mind. I can feel the overwhelming love that I felt all the many times that I've watched you sleeping peacefully in the embrace of your Mother. Today, like then, I still hear your cries and your laughter, only now you can tell me what saddens you with your words. Now you can tell me to do the same silly dance over and over again so you can laugh louder than the first. Today I still see you take steps, only now it's as we chase each other through the house playing tag and watching you run through the playground. Today, like then, I still watch you lay peacefully in an embrace with your Mama, only now it's you who are embracing her. Even more than that, when I see you embracing the belly that is carrying your baby sister, my heart almost painfully beats because I can't find a means of handling just how much I love you and this family. To see the little human that you are as you shower the world around you with love, curiosity and innocence, leaves me breathless. You have surpassed every image that I have ever imagined. And soon, all this, at least in a sentimental sense, will be no more. Soon we will have a new baby girl that will inherit the special place of being the little one. She will carry the torch that you have so gracefully been preparing to pass on, as you embrace the role of big sister - our first born.
There really is no way to express in words what you have taught me during our young time together, but I take note of every lesson, practicing tomorrow what I have learned today. I find myself to be as much a student of you as you are of me. We play in our exchange of love and lessons daily. It's a dance that I happily will accompany you with for as long as this life will have me. A dance that maybe one day you will choose to continue with your own little sunshine. Thinking of the memories we've created and all the ones to come beg me to offer so much gratitude. Gratitude for opening up my world and holding my hand as we walk through it together.
And even though we say good bye to you as our one and only little one, we say hello to the wonderful next chapter that you will discover as a big sister.
You are and always will be, our first baby girl.