My sweet Adeline.
Today, you’re three. I’m writing you this letter in hopes that maybe it will help my heart accept the fact that you are growing up, no matter how badly I wish you’d stay little. I’m simply at a loss for words and can’t believe three whole years have passed by in the blink of an eye. You made me a mom on October 22, 2015, and it was easily one of the best days of my life. I have loved being your mommy these past three years more than you’ll ever know, and I am so proud of the little girl you’ve morphed into. I never in my wildest dreams could have dreamt up a more perfect little girl to be my daughter. You truly are my heart, beating outside of my body.
This past year has been a wild one. You’ve grown up in more ways than one, and continue to grow everyday it seems. I can tell that you are just bursting at the seams to be a big girl, and you confidently announce that you already are. You are joyful, friendly, silly, brave, headstrong, smart, sensitive, independent, strong, and passionate. Your vocabulary never ceases to amaze me, and sometimes I feel like I’m talking to an adult. You make us laugh nonstop, and I wish I could write down everything you say. Your heart holds the sweetest childlike innocence, and I hope you’ll always hold onto that. You test me in ways I never thought possible, and I’m constantly amazed by your ever blossoming personality. You are learning to push the boundaries, and trying to find your place. You love God, talk about being as strong as Jesus, and ask to listen to church music. My sweet girl, I just can’t even believe you’re mine sometimes.
It wasn’t long after your second birthday that we got pregnant with your little brother. It’s hard to adequately describe those emotions because on one hand I was so excited to give you the gift of a sibling, a life long best friend. But on the other hand, I could feel the days slipping away where you’d be my one and only true love and it broke my heart. I couldn’t even fathom loving anyone else the way I’ve always loved you. Throughout the pregnancy, you were the light of our days, and kept our spirits high. You reminded us why the toughest days were so, so worth it. I know it was confusing sometimes – why I couldn’t hold you and carry you all the time, or why I didn’t feel like playing like I used to. But, you embraced the extra time with daddy, and seeing the two of you grow closer made my heart soar. I savored each and every moment with you, and grasped onto those moments as tightly as I could, knowing how different things would soon be. I have so many precious memories with you tucked away forever in my heart, and now they almost seem like a lifetime ago.
Throughout the pregnancy, we did so many fun things, and also made some pretty big transitions. We potty trained you, got rid of your pacis, and moved you to a big girl bed. You were fairly easy to potty train, you never asked about your pacis once we ditched them (we “mailed” them to your baby cousins!), and you were so proud to sleep in your new bed. You surprised us by absolutely rocking it! I knew you were ready, but didn’t realize just how ready you were. Moving the crib out of your room was a little emotional for me, but it was made better by the fact that I could lay with you in your new bed and snuggle, one of my favorite things to do until I got so big I couldn’t.
On August 7, 2018, we welcomed your baby brother. When I dreamed about my future, I always pictured a boy and a girl, just like how I grew up. And on that day, that dream became reality, and we got to watch you step into a brand new role of big sister. A title I know you still don’t take lightly. You eagerly bragged to everyone we saw about your new baby brother, and proudly shared his name. You loved him from a distance though, and didn’t want much to do with him. We understood, and knew we had turned your world upside down. A part of me felt so guilty, but I knew you’d come around. The first few weeks he was home, we worked hard to find our balance as a new family of four, finding our footing a little more each day. The transition was tough on you, and hard to understand at times, and you’re still learning and adjusting two months later. It ripped my heart to pieces having to share my attention between you and him, and I can’t tell you how many tears I cried over it. One day though, I know you’ll understand, but until then, just know that I tried my hardest to make sure you still felt loved and as important as before.
You’re doing better now though, and I know you’re slowly getting used to all of the changes. Change is hard, I get it. But change is a good thing, and you have proven to be so resilient. You are our big girl, our best girl, and we couldn’t be more proud of you. I know it may seem like sometimes I have to pay more attention to baby brother, but just know that I see you too. You’re not any less in my mind than before, and I’ll always make one on one time with you a priority. These first couple months with a new sibling have been challenging, but you are shining bright, just like we knew you would, and he is going to look up to you before you know it. And you are going to be smitten! I can’t wait to see the two of you become best friends.
At three years old, you’re mostly loving all things princess. Your favorites include Elsa, Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Belle. (Oh, and Barbie, but she’s not really a princess.) You’ve gone through phases of each, but I’d say you couldn’t pick just one. Your favorite color is pink, and your favorite thing to wear are your tutu dresses. You love swimming, swinging, playing with your big cousins, puzzles, hidden picture games, reading books (being read to and “reading” them by yourself), climbing and jumping off of anything and everything, going on walks, wagon rides, playing on the playground, watching movies in mommy and daddy’s bed, pretending with your play makeup, apple anything, getting things out of the refrigerator by yourself, your morning yogurt + cheerios, throwing the ball for Truckee, rolling your window down in the car, playdoh, “cooking” in your kitchen, going to Waffle House/Walmart/Target, and so much more. At school this summer you took a dance class and loved it so much! We think you might want to take more dance classes, but you also say you want to play soccer, so maybe we’ll try both. I’ve loved watching you experience so many new things this year!
Between turning two and three, your sassiness and independence has exploded. You always want to do everything by yourself, and it’s amazing the things we can tell you to do, and ask you to do, that you’ll do. It’s been so fun seeing you turn into such a little person, and not just a baby. You march to the beat of your own drum, that’s for sure, and you take after your daddy when it comes to being an extroverted introvert. You are perfectly content playing on your own, away from the crowd, but you also love socializing and have never met a stranger. You are bold and confident, and think you’re much older than you really are. You crack us up when you put your hands on your hips and strike a pose, and I just love your feistiness, even though sometimes it is exhausting! Learning ‘no’ has been a bit of a troublesome journey so far, but we are all learning how to be three at the same time. I know it is hard to comprehend all of your feelings and emotions, and sometimes I can tell you just don’t know how to handle them. Same girl, same. You’re a hugger and will often ask to hug or kiss us, but you also let us know when you don’t want to be hugged or kissed! Or touched at all, for that matter, hello attitude! Sometimes I laugh because you are your mother made over. You are a chatter box, and just want to talk, talk, talk but sometimes you get frustrated because I can tell your mind is running faster than you can verbalize what you want to say. We love having conversations with you, and you say the best things. I’ll never forget the times you randomly say, Mommy, I love you, or that Mommy is your best friend.
Sweet girl, I could go on and on about how you’ve changed this past year. You truly transformed from a toddler into a big girl, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for you next. I think you’re the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen (you and your brother of course), and it still blows my mind to look at your newborn pictures and compare them to how you look now. I keep waiting for when your hair will turn brown, but I sure am loving these blonde, curly locks of yours. When it’s humid, you get the most perfect ringlets, and I always want to take a picture of them. You used to love wearing bows and having me braid your hair, but these days I’m lucky if you’ll let me fix it at all. That’s ok though, because I was the same way. Messy hair, mismatched outfit, scraped and bruised legs, band aids all over – that’s about where we are now!
We love you, Adeline, forever and always, and to the moon and back. More than all the stars in the universe, and so much it hurts. Happy Birthday, big girl! You’re going to love being three, I just know it!
PS you’re starting preschool soon, and I’m a little beat up about it. For some reason, it just seems like such a bigger deal than the toddler classrooms you’ve been in all this time. I know you’re going to do great, and are more than ready to take it head on, but go easy on me, ok? I’m probably going to cry more than you. I know you’re going to learn so much, even more than you are now, and you’re going to continue to thrive and thrive and thrive. You’re growing up so fast, I’m having a hard time keeping up! You’ve got this though, and I know my brave, confident, joyful little girl is going to move mountains.