A Letter to My 4 Year Old on Her Birthday…


Dear Sweet 4 Year Old R,

Four years ago I sat in the hospital and held you in my arms in that rare post-partum combination of sheer bliss and utter terror. Your hands and feet so very tiny, yet perfectly poised to take on the world. I smelled your sweet newborn scent (that I have yet to determine where exactly it comes from…but it is so divine) and fell in love with the way your tiny head snuggled perfectly into the crook of my neck, like a long lost puzzle piece. The nurses assumed that we knew how to change your tiny diaper…silly them. They gave us a tutorial. They assumed that we knew just how to swaddle you into the perfect baby burrito. Again, they were wrong. But we figured it out. Little did we know that the “we will figure it out” part, wouldn’t be over when you were no longer a newborn. We have been “figuring it out” for the last four years….and I have a sneaking suspicion we will be doing just that long into your adulthood.

Today was the first time that your birthday fell on Mother’s Day. While the 10-years-ago-me may have been selfishly miffed to have to share my special day, I can think of no way better to celebrate than to share the celebration with the perfect tiny human that bestowed upon  me the coveted title of Mama.  Funny how motherhood does that…takes away the selfishness.  Funny too, how you have taught me to love beyond what I thought possible. How to love a person with every fiber of my being, unconditionally, and forever. Who knew that kind of love existed? My mother…and my mother’s mother…and generations of mothers before them…that’s who. And someday my love, you too will hopefully join the club of mama hood….just be sure you get out there and spend some time learning to be you first….trust me, that will come in handy along the way. And besides, you want to have some good stories to tell your kiddos someday…the kind that will make them roll their eyes at you.  Some “been there, done that” moments.  Trust me on that one (someday I will share my stories with you…whether you want to hear them or not…and you are free to roll your eyes all your want…I will keep talking).

I used to be the person that only cried in a movie when something bad happened to an animal. Now, I get all weepy when I think of you or your brother growing up. Your dad is already dreading the “empty nest” syndrome that I am sure to have when the two of you head off to college one day. (Poor guy better get used to lots of dogs…or goats…I have kind of always wanted a goat….). But for now, I remind myself that you are just four year old. You are still a baby.  I remind myself to focus on enjoying these moments with you while you are young.  I know they will pass far too quickly. They already have.

This weekend was amazing. I melted when your eyes lit up each time one of your friends walked in the door at your party yesterday.  You were so excited to have them all around you, in your home. The sheer joy you showed as you blew out the candles on your bright blue birthday cake (with sprinkles of course…) and made a wish. You told everyone just how much you loved them over and over again. And you mean it each time. You have a heart of pure gold. And today, celebrating Mother’s Day with you and your brother by my side, while wishing you a Happy Birthday no less than 43 times….well, it was just about perfect.

Sweet R, I may have taught you a few things along the way…like how to write your name and how to make your bed, but you have taught me so much more. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a pro at this parenting thing yet…not sure if anyone ever really is. But as I took a longer than usual time to say goodnight to you tonight, and you snuggled into my side, I realized that you still fit against me like a puzzle…just a slightly larger one. And although I still have moments of sheer terror when I think of all the things I have still to teach you (many of which I have not even considered I am sure…), the moments of pure bliss, and just a frequent as when you were a newborn. And now, those moments are mixed with pride. You have so many wonderful adventures ahead of you.  I am so very proud of you my sweet girl, and I cannot wait to hold your hand along the way. I promise you, we will “figure it out”…together.

Happy 4th Birthday Big Girl!

Love you to the moon and back,


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Jessie is the proud mama of two little loves, Reese (born 2009) and Brooks (born 2011). She is fortunate enough to share her life’s adventures with her husband (and high school sweetheart) Todd to whom she has been married since 2004. Although she and her husband have lived all over the West Coast, Arizona is home and she can’t imagine leaving the warm Arizona sunshine anytime soon! A proud University of Arizona Alumni, Jessie spent her pre-kiddo years as a corporate recruiter and trainer. When she is not taking her kiddos to the park or exploring the many cool things the Valley has for families, Jessie is running her natural baby food business, At First Bite, and blogging about the many adventures of parenthood on her blog, At First Bite – Peas. Love. Yumminess.


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