…when I first saw you, my beautiful baby daughter, when I first held you, where life would take you. I had no idea where your life would take you. All of the adventures ahead. All of the exciting times. The special times in your life. Your first boyfriend. Graduating from high school. Meeting Chris, the young man who quickly stole your heart. Your 21st birthday. Graduating from college. Getting engaged. Your wedding day. You and Chris announcing your first pregnancy.
Little could I imagine where your lives were going next….
I couldn’t take my eyes off your own first daughter Rachel when I first saw her. I cried. I couldn’t help it, because I saw my own mother’s eyes in her. She looked just like you when I held you in my arms the first time. And you looked exactly like me when I was a baby. There’s no doubt we’re all related. Your grandmother even used to call you by my name when you were younger.
I watched as you adjusted to being a mother, watching your grow into a new level of adulthood. You and Chris both changed your lives, as you learned how to be parents. And that’s not an easy thing to learn. (I think your dad and I are still learning.)
I watched Rachel grow from a little baby into a toddler, running around and keeping you both on your toes. Then there came the day you sent us a picture of Rachel looking at a “big sister” book and I couldn’t call you quick enough! What a double blessing you’d given us!
Little did I know what you had in store with those two little girls…sisters who I know will end up being best friends forever. Even though right now they alternate between loving each other to yelling and screaming at each other. Sometimes in the same hour. I do often wonder what would’ve happen if you’d had a little sister like that. Most likely the same things you’re seeing them go though now. And since you’d have been the oldest, I can imagine you’d be acting a lot like Rachel!
And I kept telling you you’d have a boy next time, which you and Chris both wanted. I just felt it. And you didn’t believe me. And little did you know, but I was right. I knew it when you sent us a picture of your two girls both wearing “big sister” shirts. And once again I couldn’t call you quickly enough!
Little did you know this time it WAS a boy, even though Rachel kept telling you it was, even before any of us were able to confirm it. And I knew he’d look just like his daddy.
We did know you’d probably have the same problems with daily morning, afternoon and evening sickness you’d had with your other pregnancies, although we were hoping for an easier time.
But little did we imagine you’d develop a rare pregnancy-induced liver condition that would endanger both you and our grandson. Fortunately you had excellent medical care and a prayer team who never stopped praying for you and baby Ryan. And he was born just five days before Christmas. Five weeks early. You said he’d be early, and you were right!
And little did I expect to have the reaction I had when he was born. I’d been so nervous with this one, especially knowing how early he was, and sitting in the waiting area pacing back and forth waiting for news.
I wasn’t prepared for a nurse coming out to get me and telling me there was someone who wanted to meet me, and I should come with her. I’d been so nervous that it took a minute to register what she was telling me. “He’s really anxious to meet you,” she said, “but you can’t touch him yet!”
At that point it registered, and I almost ran back to see our son-in-law standing by the isolette with their new son, all 6 pounds of him, his little head covered by a red and white crocheted cap for Christmas. “He’s perfectly healthy,” Chris said proudly.
And I couldn’t do anything but cry my tears of happiness, and relief that our miracle child was here. He was beautiful!
But little did we know he’d be back in the hospital on his one week birthday because he wasn’t holding his body temperature. Fortunately once again our prayers were answered and he was back home within three days, just in time for the new year!
Little do we know what lies ahead for all of you with your family now complete. Three beautiful children. And now celebrating 15 years since your first date and almost 8 years married! And look at where life has already taken the two – now five – of you. And it’s hard to believe little Ryan is already one month old.
Life is always interesting and certainly never boring, and your lives will definitely remain interesting, to say the least. We love you all so much.