a letter to my daughter | charlotte rae

Dear Charlotte,

Today, you and I sat down in the middle of the floor and I helped you do this:

You had been showing me for several weeks that you were ready to sit up on your own. When I put you down on your back, you tense your neck muscles up and lift your head and grunt, as if to say, "No mommy. This isn't what I want."

You no longer slump a bit to the side when sitting in your little high chair. And when I set you on the sofa next to your brother, I watch you stare at him in awe, as you try to do exactly what he is doing...taking on the world in front of you, completely unhindered.

For months, I have been waiting for this moment. I knew that when you could finally sit up like a big girl, I would have one million more opportunities to bore our friends and family to tears with photos of you sitting in every room in the house.

Look! Here is Charlotte sitting in her crib!

Look! Here is Charlotte sitting outside!

Look! Here is yet another photo of my baby girl sitting somewhere important!

But the reality of it is...I want to take it back. Please my dear baby, stop sitting up on your own.

For these moments where you sit alone, without assistance, will eventually lead to more times when you no longer need your mommy. Soon you will start to notice objects in front of you, and you will fall forward to grab them.

And that falling forward will eventually land you onto all fours...and you will crawl.

And when crawling is no longer enough, you will pull yourself up into a standing position.

...and then you will walk.

Walking will lead to running.

Running will lead to lots of bumps, and scrapes.

Bumps and scrapes will lead to a preference for which Band-Aid daddy puts on your knee. Do you want the princess Band-Aid? Or the Hello Kitty Band-Aid?

(Please, dear God, don't let her choose the Hello Kitty Band-Aid.)

And just like that, my baby will be gone.

I have no idea if you are my last baby, or if you will be number two in the chain of command. But the thought that you might be my last terrifies me just enough to want to bottle you up at this age--with all of your innocence--and never let you grow.

You have brought me so much joy in these past eight months. You aren't nearly as laid back as your brother was at this age, but that's ok. We've learned to adjust. We've learned that as long as we stay two steps ahead of you at all times, then hardly anything will go wrong.

You are my angel baby.

My owl.

My miracle.

And while I can't wait to see what you do next, in reality...I actually can.



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