If I knew then….

September is a tough month for me.   Em’s birthday, her due date and the day Jer and I were married are all within a week of one another.  It’s impossible for me to think about one without thinking of another.

I told Em the story of the day she was born yesterday.  And it was hard.  It is equally hard to call her father and hear him tell her that he loves her.  On this day it is harder than any other day for some reason.   I don’t imagine it is a picnic for MQD to hear me tell her about Jeremy, either.  I do my very best to let Jeremy speak for himself. I never speak ill of him to her, nor do I tell her fantastic tales of a man she sees not enough of.  I do what I can to let her love for him carry their relationship.  She sees him with her own eyes, not mine.

I just dug up the letter I wrote Em on her second birthday.  I had no idea just how much her laughter would carry me through some dark days. When I wrote Em this letter I knew what was coming…. but I had no idea where I was going yet.

Em put her cupcake back in the tray. But she sure makes them all look tasty.

September 18, 2005

Dear Emily,
Just a quick note to share with you something wonderfully funny that happened last night the night before your second birthday! A little background first, as your mother has never been any good at “making a long story short.” Earlier yesterday afternoon we had been chasing each other around yelling “Butt!! Butt!” and pinching each other. Evidently you have inherited your mother’s high falootin’ sense of humor. Butt pinching is the peak of hilarity in our house lately. These antics carried on intermittently through the day.

We had dinner, and your buddy from next door came over to play. You took a bath and we put on your jammies. We were reading There Is A Bird On Your Head and laughing. Usually midway through your book you ask for some “Boob” and I know we are winding down our day. You were reading along and laughing at the book and I started wondering how long you would actually continue to nurse. We finished your book and I turned off the light. You put your sweet face against my chest and clutched your blanket. I could feel myself getting weepy, wondering if maybe you were going to go to bed last night, the night before you turned two, without any boob. Just as I could feel my eyes fill with tears I could see your little body tense up, your eyes squeezed tightly shut, and I thought “Is she crying?” Does she know what a big deal this is?

Before I could ask you what was wrong you looked up at me… opened your eyes and you could hardly get it out of your mouth…. “Butt!” you screamed and proceeded to laugh like you might be the funniest person alive. You laughed until you got hiccups.

Ultimately you nursed and calmed down and went to bed. I shut your bedroom door and was putting in a load of laundry. I could hear you in your room “reading” as you do every night now. Then you said “Mom. Mom. Mom.” Not the whiney “get me out of here” Mom but more along the lines of a “I dropped my book can you get it for me?” Mom. I opened your door and you sat up in bed, eyes shining… “Butt!” You laughed and slammed your head against your pillow. I kissed your forehead and closed your door. Your laughter filled the house.

Baby girl, may your laughter carry you through as mine has. Enjoying your own company, and specifically thinking you’re a damn funny girl will get you out (and admittedly in) a lot of trouble in your life. Thank you. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend. For reminding me to keep laughing. You are and will always be my heart and soul, Em. And the second funniest person I have ever known.

Love you, sweetpea. Happy Birthday.

2 responses to “If I knew then….

  1. Pingback: Dear Emily June, | Excitement on the side

  2. HI! I saw your comment on my blog — just the mention of Joe Dash made me smile. He was such a wonderful person. And obviously made an impact if all these years later, people who were children when we knew him are still talking about him and reaching out to each other. :)

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