There are many things in my life that haven't turned out the way I've expected. I'm an idealist, a dreamer. I create rosy pictures in my head of how things should be: composites of magazine photos, people I've observed, and Pinterest ideas blended into one harmonious, unrealistic whole. Over the years, I've gotten better at recognizing this about myself, better at realizing that just because things aren't what I expected doesn't mean they're wrong or bad.
But I have to say Ellie girl, being your Mommy has lately been exactly what I expected when I dreamed of having small children. We snuggle and read books. We color and play with PlayDough. We go to the playground. We bake muffins. We sing silly songs. You take long naps and play at my feet while I make dinner.
I'm not saying you're perfect. You have your moments. I have mine too. But I can honestly say that being your Mommy, which has always been a privilege, has lately been an absolute delight.
I love watching you learn new words and question your world. "Where dat come from?" you say, and I tell you. "What dat called?" you ask, and I name it for you. You make me laugh with your Ellie-isms, calling your Grandpa "old man" on his birthday, exclaiming with delight that the teddy bears are "nakey!" or that Tiny Baby needs a tissue for a "booger."
I love watching you learn to play in new ways and with new things. We are entering the worlds of dollhouses and felt boards, of jigsaw puzzles and stamps. You explore, create, imagine. I help, sit back, watch your amazing little mind at work.
We're in a sweet spot, our tiny family of three. I try to remember this even as I feel the gap where your sister should be. I long for the chaos and clutter, the squabbles and stress I know another child would bring to our lives. I pray they will come. Soon. But in spite of what has been lost, in spite of what I hope will someday be, there is goodness here. Right now. With you.