My Little Charli,
I have no idea where the last year went. I feel like we were just in the waiting room getting prepped for the surgery that would bring you into our arms, and now we are trying to keep you wrapped up in those same arms as you run across the room to find a new form of destruction. You have been so much fun to have in our lives and have impacted us in such amazing ways. You came into this world with a giant scream heard throughout the halls of Phoenixville Hospital, and in the last year you have only continued to grow into an even greater presence than we ever thought possible.
By your first birthday you were walking, speaking a few words (Mama, Dada, Baba, Ow, No), dancing up a storm, pulling everything off of the shelves and out of the baskets that your could get your hands on, and destroying your brother’s train tracks at a 2 year old level. You love to hit people with things, and when you do, you will say “ow” and laugh. This all seems a bit on the reverse side because when we say ow you burst out into tears because we might be thinking about disciplining you. You, my little Chunk, are a professional tantrum thrower and if you even think for a minute that we might tell you “no” you break down until we reconsider and give you what you want. We are terrified to make you mad because you will make us pay. Papa says your Daddy was a terror like you so I can only hope that you one day feel our pain so we can all laugh. Right now I am barely able to make it out from fetal position in the corner to type this, let alone laugh.
You have your moments, though, and those often come when you are playing with your brother. You love Gage so much and would do anything to be exactly like him. You play with cars, trains, tools, and batman because that is exactly what he loves. You want his favorite toys and often bully him into giving them to you. He turned to me the other day and said, “Mom, Charli is a bully” and all I could do is agree. The best part of that, though, is that you being a bully doesn’t matter to him. That little boy loves you so much and has had so much fun watching you grow and being able to play with you more. As I type this, the two of you are in his room laughing and screaming as you play crash cars. Actually, scratch that, Gage just came running into the room and screamed, “Charli hit me Mom and that wasn’t nice” followed by you wandering into the room growling right behind him. Remember back in these letters when we called you our little bear cub? We were close, but you’re actually a dinosaur. A very violent dinosaur.
Each morning around 4 am you come into bed to sleep next to Daddy and I and you love to cuddle up right next to Dad. He is your big bad Superman that can do no wrong. You love your nights playing with him and he is almost always the one to bathe you and put you down to bed. Daddy and I joke that he is the closer, but it is totally true. You and Daddy have such a special bond and you trust him with all that you are. Each night when he comes home you bounce up and down happily and scream “DADA!” and the both of you light up when I place you in his arms. You and your brother are the light in your Dad’s life and I know you always will be.
I have had so much fun with you this last year and am always surprised by how close we have been. I am totally your person at this age, which I am sure has a lot to do with the fact that I am always with you, but you like me. If you are reading this at 16 and you don’t, you owe me. You totally owe me. Daddy calls you the “Mom seeking missile” because if I even think about leaving the room you have a total melt down and will seek me out and berate me for leaving your side. We have an understanding with each other and always have so much fun together. Much like your brother did when he was younger, you will only show off the little things you are learning with me until you get completely comfortable. It took you a month to admit to your Dad you knew where your ears are because you get all shy when I try to get you to perform your tricks. It’s hard for me to even type this paragraph because it makes me all teary thinking about our relationship – it’s just so special to me. My Mom is my best friend and I hope that we can have that relationship as you grow older, too.
For the last year you have kept us laughing every single day. From your little sounds, to the way you press a button so you get a song to dance to, you’re just so perfect and so Charli. It took me a little while to write this letter because I don’t know how to sum you up in a letter, because you are so much bigger than words – so much bigger than life itself. I never knew that having a daughter could be this rewarding, but every step here has felt like one to celebrate just out of sheer joy. Our family wouldn’t be the same without you and we can honestly not remember a life without you. I have learned so much about myself in the last year, we all have. You are beautiful, so full of life and personality, and when I look at you I melt every single time. Your dimples and big blue eyes make it hard to be mad at you, and your sweet blonde curls just make it downright impossible. You seek out attention wherever you go and you get because there is something about you. From the moment I held you in my arms I knew you were special and I cannot wait to watch you grow from here.
Happy Birthday to our beautiful little Chunk. Thank you for being in our lives and for keeping us on our toes.
I love you,