I missed writing you a letter last month. I’ve never missed a letter…
Two other daughters got a letter every single month during their first year. You have four so far. I was right on pace. But now you are missing one. Whenever I create a book with these letters – if that ever happens – yours will only have 11 letters and for that, I’m sorry.
It’s not that I forgot to write you a letter. I remembered multiple times over the past month… remember to write Eisley’s five month letter. The weeks are slipping by. She’ll be six months old soon. Write her letter ASAP.
But it never happened.
Today, I was tempted to write you two letters, just so the math would be right, but that seems a little disingenuous. Because this year is the kind of year where letters don’t get written. The kind of year where the house is too cramped and the future is uncertain. Where going back to work feels messy, and I don’t have time to blog or write letters or sort through the million pictures jamming up the memory on my phone. Where I feel a little bit anxious, a little bit tired, and not quite like myself.
Someday I’ll look back on this year and simply see it as brief season of life – a hard season of good lessons learned in marriage and parenting and achieving dreams and shifting plans. I’ll always think, “The year Eisley was born was a really hard year.”
But I want you to know the difficulty of this season has nothing to do with you. Of course, the sheer volume of three children has been an adjustment, but individually, you are a gem. I have a feeling this would have been a hard year, whether or not you were here with us. Even if we had waited another year to have a baby, I’m certain this season would still be difficult.
But God knew about this season in advance, and He gave us you to be the bright spot in days that sometimes feel gray. You smiling. You laughing. You sleeping peacefully in your little pink sleep sack. You, with your fuzzy strawberry hair and your raspberry forehead. Your pudgy thighs and soft cheeks. The baby who tolerates her sisters’ antics and kicks the water in the bath tub with such vigor and glee. You.
At the beginning of my pregnancy with you, I felt so nauseated and tired that for once in my life I started spending time relaxing… often curling up in bed with a book. Now you are here and the habit continues. Instead of reading, we curl up in bed together for your feedings. I escape the chores in the kitchen and the whining kids in the living room, and inhale your baby scent and kiss your forehead. With your sisters, I always saw breastfeeding as merely perfunctory, simply to provide the most healthy and affordable food for my child. But you have made me understand those tender paintings of mothers nursing their babies throughout the centuries. It took three children for me to see it as less of a burden and more of a bond.
We didn’t decide your name until after you were born. The night before I went into labor with you, your dad and I went to dinner. We were discussing girl names and Eisley started rising to the top of our list. We had no idea you would be born just hours later. When you arrived, we settled on Eisley. It means cheerful. And that you are. My smiling, content baby. You are like a pleasant tune that drowns out chaos, sadness, anger, and frustration. Not only are you cheerful, but you bring good cheer to others. Most of all, to me.
You are a gift, my child. This season might be a hard one. My patience is short. My margin is too thin. And you are missing a letter in your collection. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are my Eisley girl. You are the cheerful soul who brings so much love and light into my days.
Love you forever,