Wednesday, May 21

A Moment of Reflection

There is something about having the round little head of a baby against your chest that absolutely must be the coziest thing in the world. I was always wary of holding babies until I had my own and wow--there is nothing like knowing you made that tiny precious thing. He or she is yours. I love the feathery hair and the warm, fragrant skin, and the tiny fingers that cling to your clothes and skin. In case it wasn't obvious, I'm slightly (okay more than slightly) enjoying this unexpectedly long snuggle with my sweetest daughter. Her cheeks have just the right touch of pink in them, her lips are as perfectly shaped as can be, her small round nose is the cutest thing ever, and her little eyelashes look long and golden on her perfectly complacent face. I could just stare at her forever.

But honestly, it's been like twenty minutes and I just keep staring at her in her brilliant perfection.
So here is a little letter to my Tenley.

My Sweetest Girl,

I am thankful for the gift of motherhood that was only possible because of you. I honestly cannot imagine doing anything more meaningful in my own life. I always wanted to become an editor. But so what? Sure, I might enjoy that to some extent, but what could be better or more important than spending my days with you, my compact little best friend? Way too often I take the moments I share with you for granted. Sometimes you're just being a little stinker crawling after me and whining because I am doing dishes or wiping the counter and stovetop or simply not giving you the attention you crave. But I am going to do my best to play with my baby girl more. I will forget about those hard moments of kissing bonked heads, and rescuing you from becoming unexpectedly stuck under a kitchen chair. I know I will because I know mothers who already have. They remember motherhood being a challenge but not always the reasons why it can be so hard. So the way I see it, there is no point in dwelling on those things now.

I am sorry, Tenley, that I am already inadequate as a mother. Sometimes I yell at you to "STOP!" when you're about to bite into a random cord, or put something dangerous in your mouth, or crawl toward the edge of the bed. I am only yelling because I am scared for you, and because I love you so much that I never want you to get hurt. So please forgive me. I will try not to yell. I will try not to get frustrated when you whine or cry for me. I will do my best to cherish that time where you need me and want me more than anyone else. I cannot even describe how much I love you. I didn't have any idea until I became a mother what a parent-child love was like.

You are better than my best painting. I have never even come close to making anything else as perfect and joyful as you. You make everyone around you happy. I can't even remember my life without you. What was it like not having this perfect little angelic being around every day to give me perspective about the most important things in life? Your dad feels the same way. We wish we had had you sooner so we could enjoy more of you, sweetie. I never thought I would think of my daughter as a princess but you unquestionably are the lovely little princess of our lives. You rule our lives but only in the best way. There is not a single thing I would not do to protect you, little one.

I just want to remind you that you are a daughter of God. Your Heavenly Father loves you and I hope to teach you to love Him more than anything else in your life. If you always love Him first, you will always be blessed. Remember that just because you have trials and moments of sadness and anger does not mean He has left you. He never leaves you. He will let you experience these moments to test you, so you must do  your best and always try to choose the right. I will always be nearby and ready to help you.

Thank you for coming into our little Gunnell family. Thank you for having the light and joyful spirit that you do. Know that your mother and father have never been happier since you entered into our lives. We love you beyond description and will no matter what.

With love,


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