To begin this letter, I looked back at my previous open letters in 2016, An Open Letter to my Children 2016 and 2017, An Open Letter to My Children 2017…it is breathtaking, and I am so thankful to have this forum, to remember, to focus, to explain all the things in life that make this journey so magical. My hope is one day my children will read these letters, and they will know just how special they are, how very much they are loved, and how very much I cherish this time I’ve been given to be their mother.
You are nine years old. At times you seem so much older. You have a maturity about you that is so far beyond your nine years. This year you finished the third grade. Brock Moehler was your teacher and you shared a very special bond with him. It warmed my heart that he just “got” you. You came home from school each week with stories of the jokes and laughs you shared. You looked forward to gym class each week, where you made sure to wear your best running shoes so you could beat all of your classmates in whatever game you were to play that day. You played basketball, baseball, and continued as a Bear in Boy Scouts this year. You attended Cross Country Camp for the first time, and I’m not sure I’ve ever felt as proud as I did when I saw you running, with all of your strength and heart, striving for a good finish. You have so much heart, it overwhelms me and I admire you for it. You attended STEAM Camp for the first time too, and each day I heard stories of the projects you completed and how your design won each day. You were so proud and excited, and I was so happy for you. You’re still a total gear head and each and every day, you are telling me about one car or another….about the names, about the designs, about the prices. You dream of getting a classic car and rebuilding it on your own. I hope that someday you can make that dream a reality. You have lost your zest for scary movies and prefer comedies lately. You love to laugh. You started your first paying job, mowing the neighbor’s yard, and you are completely motivated to earn money of your own. You come in from mowing, dripping in sweat, red in the face, and I’m amazed by your dedication. You want to be a surgeon or engineer, mostly I think, because you want to earn enough money to buy your dream cars. That makes me smile. You worry about some of your classmates who have started to cuss or bully other kids, and you try to be a good influence on your friends. That makes me so proud of you. You are pumped to be a big brother again, and are hoping for a boy so that you can share your room with him. You are kind. You have the best sense of humor. You love and care deeply for others. You are a good friend, and you’re a ton of fun. I love to be around you, and I’m so proud of the young man you are growing into. Thank you for being such a strong, loving, uplifting and understanding son.
You are six years old today. You leave your dad and me speechless often. You are witty, playful, hardheaded, and kindhearted. You took Kindergarten by storm this year. I was absolutely astounded when you picked up reading as though you’d been doing it since the day you were born. You borrowed Jace’s books this year and read through them with ease. I gave you the option to pick any fun activity to celebrate your report card this year, and you chose to go to the library. I am so excited by your passion to grow and learn. You enjoy the challenge of learning something new, and I know it will take you far in life. You played softball this year. I was amazed to see your competitive spirit. You listened attentively to your coach and played so well, always putting forth your best effort. You also began dance this year with a combination class of tap and ballet. Your first recital was just a couple of weeks ago, and you literally brought tears to my eyes. Your ballet number was set to the song Smile, and you were the most graceful and beautiful ballerina I had ever set my eyes upon. Your tap number was set to the song Boogie Shoes, and there was a part in the beginning where you shook your hips with all of the sass that only you have. I am so proud of your courage, and although you shared with me that being on stage scared you, you didn’t show it for a moment. You have the best giggle. It is the sweetest sound and it immediately brings a smile to my face every single time. You have taken over your brother’s love for scary movies. You can’t get enough of all things spooky. You are completely fearless. You are still full of kisses and hugs, which I’m still soaking in as often as possible. You are beyond excited to be a big sister, and stop several times a day to give my tummy a kiss. I took me two days, a week’s grounding from the XBox and iPad, and about two thousand reminders to get you to clean up your room this weekend. We’re working on this messy thing….but we’re about progress, not perfection. Maybe next time we’ll get it done without the two thousand reminders…but maybe not. You are a bright, shining light in our lives. You bring energy and excitement to all things. You may be hard headed, but you match that hard head with an even softer heart. You ask me to sing You are my Sunshine to you each night as you fall asleep. You like to read two books and have your back scratched at bedtime…and then somehow you still end up in my and your dad’s bed by 3:00 a.m. every night. I love you wildly and deeply. I see the all of the world’s potential when I look into your eyes. Thank you for being such a wonderful, vibrant, amazing daughter.
To Baby Hafele:
You are the size of a peach this week, week thirteen. You are so small, and yet, you have totally and completely changed my life. Someday you may read my blog “2, 4, 6, 8…Nah 2” and I wonder what you’ll think about the fact that we thought two children were enough….and here you are, surprising and wonderful number three. What can I say? What words are there to explain all of the thoughts, decisions and feelings that come with bringing a child into this world. I was scared. I should explain that. I wondered if I could do it, be a great parent to three children, build an amazing career, pay all the bills, clean all the house, do all the laundry, balance all the life that came with having three children. I was also scared of having another miscarriage. I hadn’t told anyone that. You, Jace and Jera should have an older sibling, but that was not meant to be. I felt blessed to have two healthy pregnancies after suffering the loss of my first child. I worried if I tempted fate, if I tried again, I may have to go through that suffering again. But then, you came. You came without any stress, without any trying. You are this wonderful gift in our lives. And with your arrival, all of the worry left me. I have been lifted up to a place of pure confidence, where I know I can do this, together with your dad, we can do this. We’re so excited to meet you, to have you in our family, to get to go through this amazing experience one more time. I’m moved beyond words in this moment. I’m brought to tears. You are the piece to the puzzle that we didn’t know was missing, that I know could not live without. I thank God that he knows exactly what he is doing. What an amazing, beautiful ride this life is. What an unbelievable gift you are. I am undeserving, but so thankful.
To my readers:
Make time today. Write down the wonderful things about your children. Tell them out loud. They may not understand yet, but someday they will. If life ever changes and we can’t tell them anymore all of the joy they bring to us, they’re left with the written things we leave them, with the spoken words we shared with them. I encourage you to bare your soul when you can. Be an open book. Life is too short to keep all of the beautiful things hidden inside.