Dear Raisin, Apple, and Orange,
Meg Ryan’s character in You’ve Got Mail (a movie that you undoubtedly will think is archaic by the time you’re old enough to read this letter) says that she leads a life that is “valuable but small.” I think about that line a lot since I’ve been your mommy. In a sense, my life has gotten “smaller” — I have given up opportunities to do what I want when I want so that I can take care of you.
Don’t think for a second, though, that I would trade a minute of motherhood for the things I could be doing instead. Even when I am frustrated and tired, I know in my heart how blessed I really am. I know that all too soon, you won’t need me the way you do now. I know that when that happens, I will look back nostalgically at these years when your favorite place is in my arms.
Besides, my life is infinitely more “valuable” now than it was three years ago. I feel like Madeline L’Engel’s farandolae (her books are timeless classics — you might get away with not watching my 90s movies, but you WILL read A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels — be prepared). They think they are free when they are young and able to roam, but their life doesn’t really begin until they have Deepened.
You are helping me to Deepen. Life as a wife and mother is richer and more complete than it was when I was single. I am more patient, more joyful, and (most importantly) more humble. You are teaching me wisdom; before, I had only knowledge.
You are each beautiful in mind, body, and spirit. I want you to know that I absolutely rejoice that I could have any small part in making you the amazing people you are. It stuns me to think how much MORE amazing you will be by the time you’re all grown up.
Raisin, I love your enthusiasm. You can get just as excited about a visit to the dentist as you are about your own birthday party. You make every day a holiday, and I get so much energy from that. You are curious and eager to learn, almost always ready to try something new. I admire your courage, and I get endless entertainment from your imagination. It’s also helpful that you remember EVERYTHING, because I get awfully distracted some days. I am starting to rely on you quite a bit!
Orange, you study everything. You have observed so much in 8 months that I think you will have a lot to say once you figure out how to say it. You are trying really hard to make big people sounds, so I know you’re trying to tell me something. I love your slow, shy smile. The saying about still waters running deep could’ve been written for you, I think.
Apple, you are everybody’s friend. Your entire face lights up when you see something you like. If it’s something really good, your legs and arms get into the smile, too. It’s infectious. I love to watch you work hard at a new skill, because you stick with it until you figure it out. Once you get it, you are so proud. Your determination is going to get you places!
Oh, there is so much more to all three of you than I could possibly fit into a letter like this! Even as I write it, you are growing and changing and learning new things, making my observations outdated. It happens so fast that some days I hardly recognize you.
So, if by the time you see this post, none of it applies anymore, you have my permission to read only the ending:
I love each of you more than I have ever loved anything in my life (well, besides Daddy).