Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Raegan,

Today marks one year since you came home from the NICU. You spent 105 days there after being born 10 weeks early, weighing only 1lb 9oz. Today you weigh 18lbs 3oz and your 26in long. You have come so far in the last year. Your birth 15 months ago was the most painful, intense, passionate and beautiful experience of my life. I can hardly remember what life was like before you arrived. A little more empty, a little more selfish I suppose.

This last year has been the greatest and most challenging year of my life. All my life I worked for others - as a student I worked for my parents and my teachers, then once I graduated I worked for bosses and employers. It wasn't until you arrived that I found true happiness and peace within myself, gaining a sense of fulfillment and meaning that no report card or annual salary could ever provide. Becoming a stay-at-home mom was the best decision I ever made.

You are a thriving, beautiful, strong, bright, happy little girl who is deeply loved. You bring to much joy to my day. I am less stressed, less anxious, and more myself than I have ever been. We have not been perfect parents, but parenthood is life's greatest learning experience and you cannot learn without making mistakes. It's been quite an adventure since you arrived. We've shared sleepless nights, loving bottle feedings, and countless firsts, tears, giggles, cuddles and more firsts than most people thought you would have. Your my miracle.

My dad told me the love I'd feel for you would be unlike any other love, and it wasn't until you were born that I truly understood. My love for you is stronger, purer, less selfish, more giving, and more forgiving than any love I've experienced.

As you grow and become the brilliant, kind, beautiful woman I know you'll become, I have only a few hopes for you. I hope that you are able to know yourself and stay true to yourself no matter what. I hope you find happiness in life no matter where the road may lead. I hope you are fulfilled, balanced, spiritual, and at peace with who you are and the decisions you make. I hope you make tons of mistakes but that you aren't too hard on yourself for them, as it's really the only way to learn and to live life to the fullest. I hope you know that I will always love you - no matter what.

As for me, I hope to give you the freedom to express yourself, to make your own decisions, and to make plenty of mistakes. I hope to encourage you every step of the way, even if what you want for your future differs from what I want for you. I hope to teach you to explore, to learn, to trust your instincts, and to stay true to your beliefs even if they conflict with my own. I hope to nurture and guide you as you grow, to help you find yourself so that you know and love who you are - not who I want you to be.

I have tried my best this past year to be the parent you deserve. I thank God every single day for blessing me with you. Thank you Raegan, for showing me who I am, what I want to be, and what it really means to live life.

Love Always,

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