My sweet girl, my peanut, my namesake. My little “Gretchen Jr.” I never imagined that I would have a daughter named after me. Calling you by your middle name, Amy, happened by accident. Amy was supposed to be your first name, but I knew your Daddy always wanted a baby girl named after me. So as much as I turn up my nose at my old-fashioned name, now it’s just a little bit sweeter because you are attached to it as well.
We’ve been getting to know each other pretty well these last few months while your big sister has been spending her mornings at Pre-K. I know that you love cinnamon toast – but not the crust. I know that you can drink your juice from a cup without a lid. I know you can count to 10… almost. And you can even count to 20… sort-of. 6 and 15 get lost somewhere, but you usually add in an extra 7 or 13 to make up for them. I have watched you learn your colors and your shapes, your animal sounds and your vegetable names.
You help me out around the house… washing dishes, making your bed, folding clothes. Sure, maybe you don’t do it perfect. But that’s okay – you’re doing your best. You’re trying. Helping makes you feel like a big girl.
And you ARE a big girl. You’re getting bigger every day. You just turned 3. You can even show me your 3 fingers. You’re not my baby anymore. I can still hold you in my lap but I fear it won’t be long before you will be too big or too grown-up to let me fold you into my arms for a snuggle and an afternoon movie.
We’ve been trying for a few weeks now to get you to sleep in your own bed. It’s so very hard, Amy. In the middle of the night I am usually too exhausted to fight you when you climb in bed next to me. All through the night you kick me, put your elbow in my back, and steal the pillow. But every morning when I wake up, I feel your sweet breath on my cheek and I melt a little bit. I want my baby but I also want my big girl.
Amy, as you grow, I grow too. You are teaching me things about being a mom that I didn’t know I still had to learn. You’re my last child so I thought I already knew everything about being a parent. But every day you surprise me. Every day you give me a reason to smile. Every day I count myself lucky that I’m your mama.
Every month on the 10th, I will write a letter to one (or more) of my daughters, celebrating their unique personalities. Last month was the first letter; if you’d like to read it you can find it here: Letters To Our Daughters – November 2012