Dear Brooke,

15 years ago you entered this world early and quick and our lives have never been the same, they have been BETTER!!

You make us laugh, you make us cry ( in a good way), you work hard - honor roll student. 

It sounds so trite to say the last 5475 days have been blinked away, but it most definitely feels as though they have.  I blinked and she was born.  I blinked and she could walk.  I turned around to cook dinner and she was talking.  I stopped for 15 minutes and she could sing, play piano and is bilingual. 

Of course, what I’m neglecting here, are the million hugs and “I love you, Mommys”.  Each one of those is etched into my soul and though they are fleeting – they are the most special because they mean she feels loved, she feels cared for and respected.

I have tried and failed no less than a dozen times this week to write down how I feel about my daughter, Brooke.  This is what I finally have to say…..

My Sweet Girl,

When you were born, I was so taken by your dark hair and those blue eyes, I couldn’t bear to look away.  I forced myself to let other people hold you, if only to spread the joy that seeped from your pores. 

I believe with all of my heart that the second half of my life began the day you were born. I didn’t stop being Terri, but adding Mom, Mother, Mommy to my world is a gift I wouldn’t change for anything. Being the example you need in the world and embracing you as one of my greatest teachers is a role I treasure.

Some Lessons I have learned from you:  

Laughter is the Best Medicine: Of course your smile lights up the room, but it is your laughter, your spunk, the sense of humor you get from your daddy….good heavens – your goofy faces (also a gift from your daddy) that can take a mood from dreary  to delightful. You have a knack for knowing when to make people laugh – and you have taught me when to let go and giggle.

It is Ok to Say No: It is not uncommon for me to say ‘yes’ so often that my schedule and work load are overwhelming. You, on the other hand, say ‘no’ when you are tired, ‘no’ when you don’t want to play, ‘no, thank you’ if you are not hungry. You are not impolite, but you – simply by being you – are a example of what it means to set boundaries in life.

Different is Divine: You love your freckles. You love having braces. You loved having your glasses. You have never once hesitated to embrace anything that might make you a little ‘different’ from the kids around you and I love it. Not only do you recognize differences in yourself as strengths and embrace them as qualities that make you unique, you feel the same about qualities like these in others. That is special and important for everyone I know to remember.

When I look into your eyes, I see possibilities.  You truly believe ANYTHING can happen. 

And that is magic….

The kind of magic I will bottle and do my best to sprinkle over you as you sleep each and every night. You can’t put a price on that kind of faith in the world.
You are this beautiful soul.  From you I have learned patience, I have experienced family, and I have evolved.  I am a better person for having you in my life.

Happy, Happy Birthday Baby Girl…..wishing you a million days that reflect the possibilities you see.

Nummers, Durlie, Brookie Boo,Brooke – you are so very loved.
Thank you for holding my hand as we navigate this mother-daughter journey together.

Thank you for allowing me grace when I make mistakes, for teaching me the true definition of patience, for guiding me through motherhood and being part of the heartbeat of our family.

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