a Letter to my daughter on her third birthday

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My Dear Sofie,

As I write this, my heart is beating out of my chest, and I can only hope that nobody in this room has noticed yet. In a few hours, you’ll officially be three years old. I am devastated, and I am in awe. I can’t figure out where my baby girl went, but I am so inspired by the girl you’re becoming. I keep thinking about the day you were born, at 10:03 PM. You weren’t crying at first. You were blue, and they had to take you and clean out your airways, and when I heard that cry, when they put you on my chest, it was the most relief I’ve ever felt in my life. Since that moment when your beautiful brown eyes looked up at me, you’ve had my whole heart.

My Sofie girl, you didn’t deserve the twos you got to live. You deserved to be out, exploring the world, meeting kids your own age, having playdates, starting ballet and tumbling and swimming lessons. You deserved to run around on the playground and see more of the world. But you had your twos during the Covid-19 Pandemic, and your world was a completely different one than I had imagined for you. And, Sofie, you made the most of it. I am amazed at how you adapted to the year and used such fervent imagination and excitement to play indoors. You made mountains out of the couch to “hike” on. You did ballet in the living room, holding the television stand for a barre. You used the living room rug as your stage to sing songs from movies and make up lyrics to your own. You learned how to use the XBOX controller and play games with your daddy, specifically that game you call “Star Wars Game”. You went swimming in the lake, in the pool, and at the beach. You got to ride on a boat. You went on your first lengthy road trip down to Oregon and made sandcastles, ate s’mores by the fire, and chased birds on morning walks.

This year (the year of your twos), you got a baby brother. My darling girl, I know this has been wonderful and hard for you. I know we haven’t always seen eye to eye on things since baby Henry came around and that you don’t always feel like I’m here for you, but I am. I love you still with all my heart, and Henry’s being here doesn’t change that. You are still my light, my baby girl. You feel bigger now, you feel more head strong, you personality is more intense, but you are my Sofie, always. You have moved into big sisterhood with such grace, that when you do have troubles, jealousy, anger or sadness, it is hard for me to step back and to remember that you are only just now three, that your whole world is different and new. You were the only one for more than 2 1/2 years, and now you have to share attention and presents. I know you love your brother, and I also know he’s not big enough for you to play with yet. Just wait.

Sofie, my love, on your birthday, I want to tell you that you are beautiful. I love your little voice, the way you explain so specifically why you are upset with me, the way you know exactly what you want, the way you sing at the top of your lungs. I love how theatrical you are and how creatively you put sentences together to tell a story. I love that you are my mini, that people think we look exactly the same. I love the way you insist on wearing specific dresses. I love how you cup my face when you’re being sweet and the way you love to cuddle next to Daddy and need to “work” next to him. I love the way you miss your grandparents and your Julie. I love the way you still need me when you’re ridiculously tired and fall down, scraping you knee. I hate that you’re growing up too fast.

Your birthday doesn’t feel like a day that I should feel so sad, but it is. Three shouldn’t be a year that makes me wish I could go back, but it is. I see the years flashing by so quickly, and I can’t stop time from moving faster and faster.

Sofie, my sofums, my fofie, I love you more than words can say, and I am so proud to be your mamma. I hope that you have a wonderful year full of adventure and excitement and travel and seeing your favorite people and playing with your baby brother. I can’t wait to see how you grow and change. But please, just don’t change too much and too fast.



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