Letter to Scarlett at 19 months



Dear Scarlett,

I love you so much my heart could burst with it. Your squishy cheeks and soft, baby shampoo-scented hair stop time for me during the brief moments you allow me to cuddle you these days.

I cannot believe I have a 19-month-old again. Every “no” from your lips, every squinty-eyed mischievous smile makes my heart soar. You are a ball of unending energy, a blonde-haired, blue-eyed cherub with a devilish streak.

You are a doer and a talker. You have learned to say “Elmo”, but seem to think your Elmo bath toy is still “Ahba”. You can say “no”, “no way”, “happy”, “dang”, “Mama”, “Daddy”, “Angy”, “Max”, “snacks, “mess”, “ok”, “Sis”, “baby”, “yes”, “please”, “thank you”, “sammy”, “cat”, and many other words I can’t recall at the moment. You developed a special laugh for when you want to act as if you are in on the joke. You discovered how to push a kitchen chair over to the high shelf that holds the coveted designer purse and diaper bag, as well as the bar that formerly kept the computers out of your reach. Your first screaming tantrum occurred yesterday and stemmed from my refusal to allow you to bang on Daddy’s computer.

Every morning, I enter your room and you clamber up in your crib, saying either “Baby” while proudly holding a baby doll aloft or “off” while pointing to your white noise machine. I lift you and press my lips to your sleep-warm cheek, breathing you in, as you pat my back in greeting. A chorus of “Angy” and “Elmo” follow as we depart the room and head downstairs.

We pet Angus and turn the TV to Elmo. I change your diaper and then head to the kitchen for your first sippy cup of milk of the day.

No matter what chaos or quiet the day has in store, they almost all start just like this. Sometimes Daddy or Max is in the mix, but it is mostly you and me.

I can’t imagine a day when I don’t have a soft, cuddly, oppositional, delightful toddler waiting for me in a crib upstairs. I don’t want that day to come.

But it will. Change, both joyful and sorrowful, will come. We will bring your new sibling home from China. You will grow big enough for a big girl bed. Then, you will somehow be big enough for your own home.

Until then, I will kiss and cuddle you as much as you allow. I will sigh and laugh over the fact that your daily requests for your swing are invariably followed by your running from the arms ready to place you there. I will talk sternly, hug tightly, laugh joyously, and wonder how I take such delight in a process that breaks my heart. Why it is I try like hell to help you grow into a person who can live away from and eventually without me.

Keep climbing and running, my sweet Scarlett. For now, all roads lead back to me and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

So much love,


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