Three years ago today, I was in the hospital, mid-labor, awaiting the arrival of a little girl who would steal our hearts and change our worlds. I know I can speak for T when I say it has been the absolute best three years of our entire lives. We are so in love with our girl, and so thankful that God chose us to be her parents...
And now, a letter to my sweet, 3-year-old, Cameron Kate ~
Oh, my girl - today welcomes me with lots of mixed emotions. I cannot believe you are already three, which brings a bit of sadness to my heart only because I wish time would s.l.o.w.d.o.w.n. But I am also eternally grateful to have had three years with you and look forward to so, so many more. And, my girl, I am so proud of you and who you are becoming. You bring your dadddy and I a joy that makes our hearts want to explode, and you are the best part of our days. You, Cameron Kate, always have been and always will be our sunshine.
I feel so lucky to have started life as a stay-at-home mom this past January. I have spent more time with you throughout the past nine months than ever before. Because of this, I feel like we have grown so close, and I feel like I know you and your little personality so well. It has been a challenging nine months, learning how to live life as a full-time mom, constantly making sure I'm enough for you and all you deserve - but I will forever be grateful to your daddy for urging and supporting me to take this time to focus on you and our little family.
Cameron, you are SO funny. You have such a silly personality, and an imagination like no other. You love to make up songs and run around the house (often naked) singing them and giggling and pretending you're anywhere other than home. You have two somewhat "imaginary" friends - I use the word 'somewhat' because they're actually your feet. Yes, your feet have names - Gaddy and Bussy - and we know better than to call them feet, because you will quickly correct us: "MOM... they're not feet, they're Gaddy and Bussy!" Gaddy and Bussy like to participate in the games we play, and are often too wiggly when it's time to put on shoes... that's when you have to be firm with them and tell them to STOP WIGGLING so Mommy can get your shoes on!
You also have such a kind, loving heart, which is so important to me. Kindness is a trait I constantly pray for for you, and I am in awe of your sweet side and giving nature. Just like Daddy and I do, you like to squeeze my hand three times to say, "I love you." Sometimes you'll squeeze and count 22 times and tell me it's because you love me so much. And you often, out of nowhere, will give me a great big hug and tell me in the sweetest voice, "Mommy, I love you. I wish I could stay with you always."
You, my girl, make me so happy... and I make sure to tell you that, everyday.
You are such a big kid now, completely potty-trained and sleeping in a big-girl bed. You even go to preschool two days a week, and though dropoffs were rough at first, you now LOVE it and your teacher, Ms. Sandra.
You also still love your Melvin and Ellie... two friends you always have to have to go to sleep, and two friends who you often need by your side to help you feel brave in scary situations.
You are also incredibly stubborn. Whew. No clue where you got that from! ;) If you're in the middle of doing something, and we want you to change gears, we have to set a timer, often resorting to our "mouth timers." You, like your mama, need to be prepared when something is about to happen. And also like your mama - you are a planner. Every night you ask me, "What are we going to do tomorrow?" And if I tell you we're going to do something, you will hold me to it!
You have a sweet tooth like your parents, and are always ready for some "bessert." Your favorite color is red, and has been for over a year. You love to eat tomatoes, and "snack fruits," and watch Peppa Pig on Youtube. Being outside is probably your favorite pastime, especially if you're outside with your daddy. You have a wooden alligator toy named "Ho Ho Ho" (an old Christmas gift from Aunt Jamie and Uncle Dame!) that you're obsessed with. You enjoy taking care of your baby dolls, playing with Playdoh, and practicing letters and numbers by writing in shaving cream. When we ride in the car, you insist upon playing your CDs, so I rarely get to listen to any music of my choosing! You love to watch cartoons in the morning, especially Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and Doc McStuffins. And you always look forward to "Movie Friday," when we pop popcorn and watch a movie of your choice after your nap.
I'm obviously biased, but you are so smart and so witty. You can almost count to 22 consistently, with a little "eleventeen" thrown in every now and then. You know all colors and shapes and most of your alphabet, too!
You are shy in new situations, and take awhile to warm up to people. Like your daddy, you like to sit back and take things in before diving in headfirst. With that being said, you've made so many new friends in our new town and I truly believe you love it here!
Cameron, it's no secret that the past 2 and a half years have been full of trials and tribulations for our little family - lots of darkness and heartache and stress and worry. But through it all, you have kept us grounded, reminding us of what is really important in life. When we felt as though we were stuck, you are the one who would push us forward. It may sound silly, but even in your young age you kept us faithful, and hopeful, and trusting during times when that was very difficult to do. I don't believe I would have survived the past couple years with you, my girl.
You kept me whole.
And now? Here we are, in a new town, a fresh start, a clean slate... and we're growing our family. You're gonna be a big sister! In less than a month, you'll take on a whole new role as we grow from three to four. And you are going to be so important to your little brother/sister for the rest of his/her life. I have no doubt that you are ready, and cannot wait to watch your heart experience a new kind of love... the kind of love only a sibling knows. Things are gonna get a little crazy around here for awhile, but I want you to remember this, my dear...
YOU are the little girl who made me a mama. You taught me how to let go and love in a way I didn't know was possible. You make me brave. You are my best girl, lifting me up in more ways than you will ever know. And for the rest of my life, I will continue to try to be the type of mama you deserve.
Thank you, Cameron Kate, for the past three years. For opening my eyes and my heart to a whole new way of living, for teaching me what's important in life.
I love you, my sweet girl, to the moon and back and more than anything in this world.