Letters

A collision of first and lasts

Polly Pocket

My sweet Katie,

Tonight I plugged the drain of my bathtub, squirted in a healthy dose of bubble bath, turned the not-too-hot water on and lined your Polly Pockets up on the edge of the tub.

This was probably the millionth bath you’ve taken in your seven years.

It seems that so much of mothering is focused on all of the firsts. First smile, first steps, first words, first day of school.

And there’s this span of time wherein you are cushioned by those firsts… where it seems as though each one builds on the one before it and there are so few lasts.

But, something tells me that before long, bath time will be a thing of the past. You’ll move on to bathing… showering… in private and this bubble of time will no longer be spent with me by your side, washing your hair for you… handing you the washcloth.

When you were a baby, we bathed together every night. We played with your multicolored foam alphabet letters, sang a million rounds of Old MacDonald and often you settled and nursed there amongst the popping bubbles.

Those days with you seemed so much slower.

Now our days are filled with lunch packing, school pick up, errands, homework and just the overall busyness life.

We are happy. But we are busy.

And somehow the years between when I felt certain that we had this immeasurable expanse of time ahead of us in which we could run a bubble bath and laugh and sing have collided into nownow when I just know those days are dwindling.

In many ways, now has become a time of lasts intermingled with firsts, where a single day can simultaneously hold joy of the new and melancholy over the no more.

But tonight, I drew your bath and climbed in beside you.

We played with your Polly Pockets together, washing their hair and singing our songs. Old MacDonald has been replaced by the entire Sophia the First CD.

Lasts and firsts.

And in each, I am learning, there is beauty.

Thank you for showing me the way, my dear girl.

I am so very grateful for you.

With so much love,

Mommy

Seven

Dear Katie,

Happy, happy birthday, sweet girl!

After wanting you for so long… after praying for you for so long… I’m still amazed each year, as we celebrate your special day, by just how lucky we are to have you in our lives.

Last night, before we tucked you in for bed, we talked about today. That your birthday coincided with dress up day at school made you simply giddy.

Then, this morning, as you carefully pulled your Cinderella dress over your head, I could see a little storm brewing in your mind. Your sweet grimace as you pulled the itchy fabric off your arms and away from your neck gave your thoughts away. You shifted, squirmed, scratched and finally looked up at me, locked eyes and said, “I’m not going to wear this after all. It itches me and I just know that it will bother me all day.”

I’ve spent the past week (or weeks, if I’m honest), wondering how it’s possible that you’re already seven…wondering where the years have gone and feeling terrified that the remainder of your time with us will slip through my fingers.

But this morning, as you changed out of your Cinderella dress and into your school uniform, I thought my heart might burst with pride. You are learning who you are… learning to think ahead… learning that it’s okay to not do what everyone else is doing.

You are learning that it’s just fine to be YOU.

As I held the cast off dress and watched you carefully zip up your plaid skirt and smooth your shirt collar, I realized that none of this… this privilege of being your mother…  is about keeping you small. It’s about bearing witness to you becoming the woman you will one day be.

And this morning, as you dug deep, I realized that you are indeed seven.

You are seven magical, smart, beautiful, fantastic, glorious years old.

And I’m so incredibly blessed to be here to watch you grow.

With a happy heart, filled with so much love for you,

Mommy

letter on seventh birthday

Nine words

My sweet Katie,

Today, you stashed your lunch box in your cubby, hung your backpack from the hook and kissed me goodbye, just as you do every morning.

Then, you turned and took your friend’s hand and said, “Come on, let’s go play.” She answered with an easy smile and you ran off together.

As I stood there, watching your two pony tails bouncing along behind you, I was struck by just how much I admire you.

During the first month and a half of kindergarten, this little girl wasn’t so nice to you. continued

Kindergarten Eve

Dear Katie,pedipeds, mary jane shoes, school uniform shoes, black little girl shoes, black shoes

I just said my goodnights to you, blew kisses and closed your bedroom door.

Tomorrow when you wake up, you will be a kindergartener.

And it will take everything I have in me to bring you to school…to hand you over to kindergarten, this new experience that feels like it is taking you from me.

But I will smile as I help you get settled in your classroom and wish you a wonderful day because I know that’s what you need most from me.

I’m certain that you will thrive.

I’ve watched you gain confidence and trust yourself.

And in time, I will find my way too.

You have both softened me and strengthened me.

You’ve made me hold on tighter while also learning to let go.

Thank you for these past five years…for the moments, the days, the years.

My time with you has been an absolute gift, Katie.

With so very much love,

Mommy

All that we have: An anniversary letter

The London West Hollywood, The London West Hollywood bed, MacBook ProDear Craig,

As I write this, I’m sitting in my hotel bed, 400 miles away from you.

And in just less than an hour, it will be our anniversary.

But I am here and you are there.

And as much as it pains me to be away from you, I am here because of your endless, unwavering support, because you always encourage me to enjoy every amazing experience that comes my way.

I am so grateful that you not only love and believe in me, but that you buoy me as I explore my world.

The past year has been filled with things both amazing and challenging.

And while our days have been filled with incredible joy, heartache filled an unfathomable amount of space in our lives.

Thank you for remaining by my side through the weeks of optimism and the following weeks of disillusionment.

As we faced each new month with renewed hope for another baby, I was ever grateful to have you by my side.

As each cycle slipped through our fingers, I knew that I would crumble without you there.

And now, as we each come closer to accepting that we’ve likely reached the end of our infertility journey, I know that as long as you’re by my side, I will survive this.

We will survive this.

Thank you for continually reminding me that our love can withstand anything as long as we continue to approach our marriage with an honest heart.

Thank you for holding my hand when I cried and listening to me as I struggled to understand the whys.

And most of all, thank you for reminding me that we aren’t defined by what we don’t have…but rather, by all that we do.

I can’t imagine a day of my future without you in it.

And with your hand clasped firmly in mine, I’m certain that we’ll be fine.

Thank you for the gift of your love.

I love you beyond words,

Nichole

About me

Nichole Beaudry @NicholeBeaudry Location: Northern California
Each and every day, I strive to appreciate the wonder, beauty, and whimsy in the small moments, the moments that, when strung together, form a lifetime.
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