I Love Every Minute of You

My Sweet Girl,

I remember shortly after you were born, a poem started to form in my head, or my heart, or wherever poems begin.

I love every minute of you
I love every breath of you
I love every smile, cry, sigh of you

The poem hasn’t grown beyond that yet, maybe never will. Poems do that sometimes, as you may discover if your love of words and sounds and sense continues to grow at this breakneck pace. (Words and writing and reading have always been so important for me, shaping who I am and what I believe. I think that maybe we will share that.) But for some reason those poem’s words help me to express and understand the magnitude of change that I went through when you were born. A complete love that I have never felt before.

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I have had a broken heart in my life. As you will have, undoubtedly, in yours. I think it is O.K. to have a broken heart once or twice in the span of a lifetime. It means you have loved and lived and tried. (Oh, the trying. That is the toughest part of all.) But I remember thinking, as your 3-line almost-poem ran through my head, that if anything ever happened to you, my heart wouldn’t break. It would shatter. Into a thousand million pieces that could never be put back together. Without you, I wouldn’t be me anymore. Not the me that was created the moment you came into this world 3 years ago. Not this me, the best me that I have ever known.

Back in your room in Victoria, I am floored by the scent. Just like I remember, like no other smell in the world. Because it is you. It brought back the flood of memories of nursing and rocking, changing and tickling. My beautiful baby. This room is no longer yours, but that smell will stay with me always.

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And speaking of tickling. Never, no never, has there been a girl in the world who loves to be tickled more than you. “It’s tickle time!” is peeled out several times a day. We also have tickle games, games that developed over time, the origins of which are murky and irrelevant. You climb under a blanket and pretend you are asleep, snoring loudly like a 70-year old man. That is my cue to throw back the cover and madly tickle you. Or you tuck into the corner of the couch and say “You can’t reach me”, which I respond to by stretching out my arm, pretending like I can only…just…barely…grab your hand, and then pull you to me and tickle your side until you squiggle away. Your funny, sweet, surprisingly deep laugh will be in my ears always.

As will your voice. Much of your day is filled with music. Listening to music, strumming on your guitar, and singing. Always singing. You have brought music back into a more central part of my life. I try to think of music that we can listen to and dance to together. Or we just turn on the radio and boogie to whatever is playing. It doesn’t really matter. It all sounds and feels wonderful.

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I hope you remember these fun times, the lovely times together. Because not every minute is perfect with us. I’m a different kind of mom…like I guess every mom is different in their own way. I don’t bake or cook much, I like/need to work and explore my own projects, I sometimes have a really, really short fuse, and the thing I pray the most for is patience. There are days I wish I could take back, and desperately hope that the better days somehow overpower the worse days in your memory.

But you are kind and confident and fiercely independent, so I think maybe in the end it will all turn out alright. Maybe even better than alright. The other day I caught you awkwardly shimming up on the big-girl toilet and showed you how to move your stool, which you cart around the apartment constantly to help you do whatever it is you want to do, to get up there more easily. Your eyes lit up like I had given you the best gift: a way to do yet one more thing without any help. Dad found you the next day happily perched up there, reading a book that you had hauled from your room. He forwarded me the photo immediately, so we could share the laugh together.

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I can hardly believe 3 years have gone by, and also can barely comprehend how much you have changed and learned in such a short time. I’m fascinated by the way your mind works, and I think it will just keep getting better and better as we can talk and share more. I’ve always said that 3 was my favourite age for children. Innocent and daring, talking and roughhousing, growing independence while still needing lots of cuddles, a full and vibrant personality with just a hint of baby. I’m going to love every minute of it.

Pufferbelly from Hillary Samson on Vimeo.

4 Responses to “I Love Every Minute of You”

  1. Sox says:

    I should have read this at home, not at work! Now my co-workers will see me weeping.

    A beautiful letter.

  2. Beth says:

    Yeah. this made me cry, too. it’s lovely.

  3. Bodyc says:

    acrossthewater.ca to GoogleReader!
    Thank you
    Bodyc

  4. Lori says:

    Ditto … a great post on Annie’s 3rd birthday!!! Rather than send her gift to Austria, I’m saving it (and yours) for when I see you both in July.

    Love from Lori (Shawna, Akbar and Matheson)