Oh, Lucy, Lucy, my Lucy,
Nothing could have prepared me for how much I love you. From the moment I realized I was pregnant, I loved you more than I’d ever loved anything. I don’t mean I loved your brother less, I mean that my heart expanded in that moment and has never been the same. I loved you so when you turned one, but I know that I will love two even more.
None of my pregnancies have been a breeze, but comparatively speaking, you were easy on mama. I felt bonded to you in a special way. I could not keep my hands away from my belly. I so desperately wanted to hold you. When I would soak in the bath, I would sing to you, chat with you, and cry with joy over the knowledge that you were near me.
And then you were born. After waiting almost two extra weeks to meet you, you decided to arrive on the feast of the Blessed Pope John Paul II. He chose you and you chose him. And after calmly waiting for so many days, all of the sudden you were ready. I will never forget the sensation of knowing it was time to give birth and feeling you rush out of my body into the world. I don’t think anything can ever top that moment, if it was even a full moment. It was more like seconds between realizing you were ready to meet me face-to-face, feeling the waters break and then see you tumbling out. It all happened in one amazing push that my body carried out while I made my best effort at slowing things down. It was characteristic, my love. You wait patiently and quietly observe, and then a fierce determination comes over your little face and you hit the world like a ton of bricks. How I love that about you.
When close friends lost a baby girl at birth, only months before you were born, my whole perspective changed. I remember being so frustrated with your older brother when he woke so many times a night for those first few months, but whenever you would wake to nurse, I just felt so overwhelmed that you were safely here. I was so grateful that I had a healthy baby girl crying out for me that I treasured those nights with you. I remember whispering in your ear, “I didn’t know I could love anything the way that I love you.”
And what a sweet baby you were. So happy. So calm and content. And I only worked away from home two afternoons a week and you came with me, babysitter in tow, because I couldn’t bear to be away from my baby. Months after your birth, I still felt like you were part of my own body. It was amazing. We were so close. But on the flipside, you’ve always been so independent. Happily playing with books and blocks, just peeking over at me to smile. And when at only 10 months, I found out I was pregnant with your baby sister, you were incredible and brave and so strong when I was almost too weak and nauseous to nurse you.
And when she arrived, you took on the role of big sister with such joy and grace. You LOVE her. You tell her so all the time. And your goal is to “make Gwen happy!” You giggle and grin when she “talks” to you. And you hug her so sweetly (well, when you’re not clobbering her over the head.) Daddy and I are so proud of you and I can’t wait for your sister to grow old enough to be your best chum.
I can’t imagine a child bringing more joy to her parents than you bring to us. I had no idea that anything could make my heart sing the way it does when you race across the room to hug me. You are strong-minded, clever, lovely, graceful, and silly, but with a serious streak. You take in the world with a furrowed brow and then burst out laughing with wonder and joy. I spend so much time every day just staring at you and how beautiful you are. I try to think of a word to describe the color of your golden green eyes. I try to capture your smile with my camera and always come up short. I can’t ever quite catch it. I love to run my fingers through your silky brown hair and see it shimmer auburn in the sunlight. I could kiss your precious cheeks all day long.
I am amazed by you every day. All the things you say and do. You mother your stuffed animals and dolls so carefully. Nursing them, tucking them in, and whispering sweet nothings. You love to make art and you love to dance and sing. You can say your prayers: Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be with the most precious little voice. I am fully aware that I don’t deserve to mother a little woman like you, but I’m grateful each day that God lets me do it anyway in spite of all my failings. I’m so glad your name means “Bright Star.” Since the moment of your birth, you have filled our days with sunlight. I can’t believe you’re already two! Thanks for being our little girl. And please stop growing so fast because it makes my heart ache. We love you more than you can understand.