I’ll never forget the first moment you were placed in my arms. I thought, “She’s here. I did it. I’m a mother.”
That first night in the hospital was grueling. You wouldn’t sleep unless you were laying on me, and, as a first time mom, I was so scared the nurses were going to come in and yell at me for co-sleeping, so I stayed awake most of the night, with tired eyes, just watching you sleep.
We went home, spent a few days with daddy before he headed off to Afghanistan, and you and I moved into Grandma and Papa’s house for a few months. I remember the first time we had the house to ourselves. Just me and you. I thought to myself “well, now what?”. What am I suppose to do with this baby all by myself? How was I going to give you everything you needed, especially with your daddy gone? Could I function on such little sleep and give you the attention you needed? Would I teach you everything you needed to learn and help you grow? Would I be able to keep you alive??
Some days that last one has been all I really could do. Other days, I’ve not only kept you alive, but I’d like to say we thrived.
In your 5 short years you have learned SO much. You have grown SO much. You have learned how to walk, talk, jump; say, recognize, and write your letters and shapes and can even count to 100. You have learned songs and how to spell and write your name. You can wash the dishes and fold your clothes, make your bed, and sweep the floors. You have gotten over so many fears, and even get excited about things that used to worry you. You offer help to others. You’re willing to give things away and share the things you love. You know how to make people smile and laugh, and your hugs can cure the worst of days. You are the biggest encourager, and you always make people feel good. You are silly and smart and kind and loving. You are everything I could’ve ever hoped you would be.
And as you head off to kindergarten in just 2 weeks, I’m thinking to myself again, “Well, now what?”. I’m no longer going to be the one that teaches you everything you know, and to be honest, as much as I’m excited for you, I’m also kinda sad about that. I hope I’ve prepared you enough. I hope I’ve given you the coping skills to handle new people and new challenges. I hope you make so many friends and that you love your teacher and she loves you. I think you’re pretty great, and I know you will be a good girl.
But what am I gonna do without my little Livi Loo all day? I won’t hear your sweet little voice calling down after nap time every day “Mom, can I wake up?”. What if I need a hug when I’m overwhelmed, or just wanna tell you that I love you?
You were the first to come, and now you’re the first to go. I’m going to miss you so very much my sweet girl. But I’m so SO proud of you. I know you’re going to do amazing things, and I can’t wait to watch you take on the world in a new way.