I remember that morning so clearly. It was a little after five in the morning and after having taken a few different pregnancy tests, all of which said positive, I woke your dad to tell him you were here.
I remember the exact part of the I5 your dad and I were driving when we agreed upon your name, Row.
And I remember standing on golden colored leaves in the pouring rain with your dad when we opened the ultrasound envelope revealing you were a girl. It was the same park we had walked many times, getting lost in the deep woods before emerging onto the ocean path. The deep woods where he and I walked hand in hand, some days arguing, other days dreaming, many days laughing and countless conversations of when you’d finally arrive.
You have always been wanted. We wanted you for a very a long time.
And then you grew and my belly grew. At night time you’d start kicking and your dad and I would each have our hands on my belly, hoping to catch your next move.
We took you to France and next, to Italy. We drove through Death Valley and hiked across sand dunes. Your dad went to South Africa and made a knife from the earth’s dust. We celebrated your great grandma’s 90th. We bought you a house. There were so many wonderful things we did while you were in my belly, but none of them were as sweet as experiencing you.
You arrived just after midnight and I will never forget grabbing your sweet body and pulling you to my chest. The world had both stopped and just began. Your birth not only meant your arrival but I too was born as your mother, as was your dad. It was in those first few moments of having your little ear rest against my chest, that the air became so fresh, it was as if I was breathing for the first time, too. Your soft, silk-like head that fit perfectly into my hand. Your tiny chest and belly that laid against my chest and belly. Your little toes, your fingers, the fuzz on your ears, your puffy eyes and cheeks, your long legs. You were perfection. You were heaven. You were the moment I had been waiting for, my entire life.
Today, you have been earth-side for as long as you were in my belly. You still are our heaven. You are absolutely divine. You are forever what binds the three of us all together and there is truly nothing that makes me happier than this thought, for you and your dad are my favorite humans ever. Ever.
You’ve made me a better person. You’ve given me joy. You’ve taught me the importance of time and how special each and every moment is. You’ve helped me come out of my head. You’ve helped me stand up for myself. You’ve made me more confident.
All of these things you’ve changed in me, simply by being you.
Right now, you love to laugh. You love to chat. You love when people chat with you. At restaurants, you love to sit backwards in your highchair so you can chat with whomever is sitting behind us. You have sparkly eyes. Even strangers will come up to us and tell us that you have sparkly eyes. You have chipmunk cheeks and the most beautiful smile. You are brave and you are fearless. You pull yourself up onto things to see what else you can reach. You don’t care if you’ll fall or if it’s dangerous. You just trust. You are determined but you are also very accepting. When I’m making breakfast, you crawl across the kitchen floor and tug on my pant legs until I pick you up. Sometimes you use my pant legs to try and stand up. It makes me so happy to feel your little tug and to look down and see my wide-eyed-wonder baby looking up at me. You scream when dad comes into the room. You absolutely cannot handle his presence. You explode with excitement and crawl as fast as you can to him. You sing in the bath and grunt when we put you into pajamas and you fall asleep quickly, with Moon, your little doll from “dada.”
You are my Moon. My Jupiter. My forever star in the sky.
I will do everything I possibly can to give you happiness, to show you love, to protect you. I will always want you in my arms but instead, I will teach you to walk, and then run, and then ride a bike, so you can explore the ends of the earth and see how beautiful this planet is. And I will always be with you, whether here, or in the sky, or a phone call away, or sleeping next to you in bed. I simply cannot exist without you and perhaps that’s the most beautiful part of this all. God has given me you and so my existence will forever remain intertwined with you and your beautiful spirit. You came from my body out of more than just science but from magic and creation and the fact that Someone who loves you even more than I love you has been waiting for you to come earth-side since the dawn of time. You are my Everything and the greatest honor of my life is being your mother. Right now, we get to be here amongst the flowers and I will treasure each and every one of these days. You are my flower. My rose. My sunshine. My fortress. My little baby girl, I love you.
I love you so, Row.