I thought I was going to just write your monthly “Dear Peanut” letters until your first birthday, but I have to be honest and say that I miss them. I miss writing them and really taking the time to put into words what you are like at each stage – what you love, what you do and say, what you make me feel and think. I don’t know if I’ll go back to monthly letters, but I know I just can’t stop writing to you, Peanut. And I have the feeling that someday when you’re grown (and maybe having babies of your own), I will want to be able to come back to these letters and remember what those days and moments felt like. And maybe, you’ll be able to read them and see the similarities in your own motherhood experience…
You are the sweetest and most challenging thing in my life little one. But let me tell you, every single challenge is sooooooo worth it. You’re talking so much now, and really starting to show your little personality and your preferences. We may not be in the “terrible twos” just yet, but you sure do know how to let us know we aren’t doing what you want us to do. You know what you want, and you know how to make an unreasonable amount of noise when you can’t have whatever “it” is at the moment.
We get this face a lot… accompanied by your not-so-great fake cry (it’s also usually in conjunction with you rushing to us like you were in this photo):
But you also know how to show us affection now… you wrap your little arms around my neck and squeeze tight, and I melt. You say your own little version of “I love you,” and I melt. When I ask you how much I love you, you throw your arms so far out to the sides that they end up being behind you, and I melt. When I tell you I love you to the moon and back, you respond enthusiastically with “Moooooooooooon back!”, and I melt. Sure, these things may just be a repetition of what you have seen from us, but you say it. And you share those things with such conviction that it doesn’t matter that the phrase didn’t come straight from your brain. It came straight from your heart, and that’s even better.
You love going to school, and it is so fun for you daddy and I to get to see you socializing with other kids and bringing home artwork. You LOVE being outside. If you could be outside all day, I think you would. You’re not afraid to get your hands covered in dirt, which is something I hope you hold on to. We search for the moon in the sky, and we’re always on the lookout for birds. Every time you get excited about hearing or seeing birds, I think of just how much your great grandma would have loved sharing an appreciation of birds with you. It helps keep her memory always in my mind, so thank you for that, Peanut.
You still love bubbles, books, bath time and bananas. Your hair is still wild, although it’s getting longer and longer – and makes you look so grown up. You don’t always like the process of getting your hair done, but you love bows. You love our puppies – especially sweet Dixie Bear. That dog is a giant ball of patience with you, and she’s often a good reminder that I need to keep getting better with that. She lets you climb, hug, kiss and love on her. It warms my heart seeing you two together.
Peanut, you are growing so fast and learning so much. I hope I am teaching you the important things – love, kindness, forgiveness, trust, grace, respect, and the meaning of family (among so many other things). I hope I’m also teaching you the little things along the way too.
Sweet girl, you are my biggest lesson in patience, and and even bigger lesson in life and love. Thank you for giving me the gift of being your mama.
I love you alllllllll the way to the moon and back.