From day one you have been my “Sweet Girl.” I call you that every day.
Last week we were at our condo at the beach and I had just gotten you to sleep. I was about to lay you down in your pack-n-play for the night. You felt me shift you to lay you down and you grabbed tight to my neck and patted my back with your sweet little hand. I held on tight to you for a few more minutes as tears welled up in my eyes, thinking, little girl, I love every sweet little thing about you.
The way you wake up asking for Mommy and Daddy.
The way you give great big bedtime hugs and kisses.
The way you so politely say please, thank you and you’re welcome.
The way you say “Bess you” anytime anyone sneezes (including the dogs and baby Simba at the beginning of the Lion King.)
The way you take such good care of your babies.
The way you’re so gentle with your cousin Payton.
The way you lay your head on our shoulders and pat our backs when you give hugs.
The way you say “amen” after songs during church.
The way you clap and say “yay!” and “wow! That’s cool!” when something fascinates you.
The way you belly laugh.
The way you play with my hair and jewelry and say “oh, pretty!”
The way you hold my hand in the car or when we’re playing in the park. I love feeling your tiny hand hold on so tightly to mine.
The way you sing every song you hear. My favorite is “Twinkle Twinkle” when you reach up toward the sky.
The way you tell your rubber duck to be careful in the bath tub.
The way you love animals.
The way you call bananas “minas,” yogurt “yuke,” and fruit snacks “nummies.”
The way you kiss mommy’s baby belly.
The way you wave at planes and birds.
The way you hold our hands to pray at the dinner table.
The way you point out the stars and the moon when we’re driving at night and tell them good night.
Some days are trying. Some days you are extra stubborn and try our patience a little more than others. But EVERY day you are sweet. And at the end of the day, no matter what kind of day it’s been, the sweet always outweighs the bad. The best days of my week are the days I get to spend every minute with you. I need you to know that if I had a choice I wouldn’t spend 40 hours a week away from you. I would spend every day growing, bonding, and making memories with you. Never doubt just how loved and how special you are. Raley, I hope you know, I love every sweet little thing about you.