My friends had done their best to include me in their normal lives, and I'm sure that they enjoyed the idea of tiny tie-dye onesies, made in my absence at a get-together, as much as I did. I can't really imagine being on the other side of my friendships after I was pregnant and married. There must have been a lot of thoughts unspoken, worries kept secret. I'm not sure I would have listened to them, and oh, how I needed the comfort of knowing that they were still here, loving me and pulling for me!
I left the hospital with my mom, and before we even went home, I wanted to bring my baby to meet her namesake, my paternal grandmother. The first granddaughter had been given a variation of my grandma's name, and as this was the first great-granddaughter, I thought it fitting to use another variation for my daughter. My grandma was already aging, and she passed away when my baby girl was 18 months old. I so wish they would've gotten to know each other, but I try to share stories of her in the hopes that she will be remembered through me.
She was so tiny when she was born- I literally dressed her in doll clothes. I didn't realize just how small she was until I tried to fit Little Miss into her big sister's newborn clothes!
She was such a joy as a baby, a perfect match for me. I truly believe that God created her with my unique situation and abilities in mind. When she would wake up in the wee hours of morning, she would crawl into my bed and use her chubby fingers to pry my eyelids apart in the hopes of starting her day before the sun. At the time, I thought I might die of exhaustion, but I looking back, her spunky personality is what kept me busy enough not to dwell on other parts of my life that were crumbling around me.
My absolute favorite picture of her. We'd gone to the fishing park near home one afternoon, in typical fashion, to play and sneak pictures.
And THEN... she started to grow up on me. This was her first day of preschool. I didn't get teary as so many mommies do. I knew without a doubt that she was not only ready but honestly needed the experience. And she's been yacking her teachers' ears off ever since!
We've dabbled in lots of activities over the years: ballet and tap lessons, soccer, voice lessons, gymnastics, and horseback riding lessons. None of them have pleased me as much as this first year of dance lessons. She attended the studio where I had been a student for thirteen years, and it was a joy to watch her swallowed by love from the curly redhead owner who had watched me grow up. That was the last year the studio was open.