You were curled up in my lap last night, fighting to stay awake even though you were so obviously exhausted. You've been sick these last few days with a cold and a cough but you still manage to smile and giggle and brighten my day, even when you aren't feeling well. As we sat there, rocking and cuddled up under your blanket, I found myself wondering what you'll be like five, ten, twenty years down the road. Each day you share a new piece of yourself with us - a new expression, a new like (or dislike... peas, for example), a new sound... and each day I continue to be in awe of you.
I know that you will grow to be your own amazing person and that no matter what you decide to do, I will love you unconditionally. There is so much that I want to teach you, things that I have learned the hard way and things that I don't want you to have to struggle with. I hope that I am able to help you avoid making some of the mistakes that I made. I hope that I can give you the tools you need to be successful and happy and safe all throughout your life. If I can accomplish that, then I feel like my purpose for this life will be fulfilled.
I hope that you will be strong. Always trust in yourself and follow your heart. Know the difference between right and wrong and understand that all of your choices have consequences. Only make the decisions that you are willing to live with for the rest of your life. Part of being strong is standing up for those who can't stand up for themselves and setting a good example for others. When you fall short, have the strength to forgive yourself and offer that same courtesy to others.
Be kind to everyone you meet - if they don't return your kindness, that's their loss. Don't judge people too quickly. Some of my best friends were found in the most unlikely of circumstances. Be a good friend - listen, support, and laugh with the people you are closest to and they will do the same for you.
Don't be afraid to fall in love - it's one of the most beautiful experiences you can have. Give your heart completely to the person you love but demand that they treat it with the respect and honor that it deserves. Someday you will meet the person that makes you feel more than whole, someone who makes your life better in ever sense of the word - don't settle for anything less than that. If you decide to have children you will find a whole new capacity for love. There aren't words that can express what it feels like to hold your own baby in your arms in those first few moments - it is truly an amazing experience that I hope you will have someday.
Experience new things - get out and see the world around you and appreciate everything you have. Your dad and I are so excited to take you all over and show you what this world has to offer. Walk barefoot on the beach, stand at the base of a mountain and take a moment to realize how small we all are, lay in an open field and watch the clouds drift by... these are the moments that you will remember for the rest of you life. Be curious about the world and about different cultures. Learn to play an instrument, try different sports, learn a second language, travel and meet new people.
Above all, remember that I love you peanut... more than life.
"Love all. Trust a few. Do wrong to no one." (W. Shakespeare)