My Special Girl

Haley, this is one of my favorite pictures of us. I had just found out a few days before that I was pregnant. I knew you were soon going to have a little brother or sister, you were already the cutest kid in the world, and we were having a good time sharing stories this night. I took our picture with my phone, and it still is a favorite.
The other morning when I woke you up, you stood on your bed and wanted me to pick you up. I happily obliged, and remembered the days, not so long ago, when waking you up meant walking out to the rocking chair for extra rocking and snuggles. If there was a light on, you would mumble, “Too bright!” and I would turn off the lights. You’re like your mommy in that regard – no lights or noise in the morning. Those mornings in the rocking chair – that was the bright spot of every day for me. 
I call you “my special girl” and it’s a title you rightfully acquired. You are so very special to me. To your daddy. To everyone who knows you. You’re one of a kind. I sit and watch you “dance awesome” as you say, or listen to you carry on a coherent and sophisticated conversation and I wonder where my little girl went. It’s hard to imagine you were anything different from what you are now. It’s hard to believe you were less than 3 pounds in an isolette. It’s hard to believe you used to not sleep every night from 8:00 to 7:00 the next morning. (By the way, thank you for being such an awesome sleeper for as long as I can remember…)  It’s hard to believe you were a mini-you before you became my mini-me.
I was so excited to learn my special girl was going to have a special girl as a sister. I remember thinking surely lightning wouldn’t strike twice, and we were having a boy, but when we found out we were expecting another little girl, my heart nearly exploded from excitement. You somehow always knew. You insisted you were going to have a sister, and you were right. I know you understand bits and pieces, and I know you understand things we don’t even realize ourselves, but I still wish you could have your baby sister here. I know you’d take excellent care of her. I know you’d be jealous of her touching your toys. I know you’d protect her to your wit’s end. I know you’d kiss her one minute and smack her the next. I know how sisters are. I know how you are. I know how it might not be a factor now, but years later, you’ll hurt for not having your sister. I want you to know – if there were anything I could do to give you your sister back – I would have done it a million times over by now. I’m sorry, sweetie. 
I took you to Chahinkapa on Sunday – just the two of us. We had such a blast together. You wanted to ride in the wagon, and I lugged you around to see every single animal and every single display. We had ice cream and you were so stinkin’ cute. You remembered what Daddy had said about lightning putting nitrogen in the ground and making the grass greener (A. How does he know this random stuff and B. how on earth do you remember what he randomly knows?) and you commented that’s why the grass was so green on the drive down there. You also commented that it was taking too long to get there. Gosh I love you. Even when you complain, it’s so stinkin’ cute. You wanted to hold my hand so I reached behind to hold your hand as I drove and you suggested we pray. Melt this mommy’s heart…. You touched a tortoise at the zoo, after I begged you to trust me that it wouldn’t hurt you – I was so proud of you for actually petting it!  After our day together at the zoo we went to the cemetery to see Harlynn’s spot and we told her all about everything we saw and did earlier and you told her, “I wish you were here to go wiff us.”  We all do. We all wish Harlynn were still here. But Haley – you will always be an amazing big sister to her. It’s just in a different way than any of us imagined.

I want you to know, be certain of, and never doubt how very special you are and always will be to me. You are my special girl for a reason. You fill our hearts with joy, you fill our home with so much love and laughter, and you are the bright spot in our lives. We thank God for you every day and the true gift you are to us. You fill our lives with an incredible presence. We are so blessed to be your parents.

I love being silly with you. I love reading you stories. I love your snuggles. I love it when you hug me for no reason at all or tell me you need to tell me a secret, just to whisper “I love you, mama” in my ear. I love you, Haley.  Here’s to more snuggles. Here’s to more giggles. Here’s to more memories.

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