Friday, 29 January 2016

Dear Emily - An Open Letter to My Two-Year-Old.

Dear Emily,

I need to talk to you. 

I see the hesitation on your passionate little face. You're expecting me to warn, "We don't..." or "What do we say?" or "Stop..." or "1...2..."

It's been a challenging month. From misplaced my-little-ponies to jellybeans of inappropriate colour, it ain't easy being two. Between your emotional outbursts and a run of nasty viruses, I'm tired. Your little sister's been keeping me up at night and my patience is stretched thin during the day. I'm more prone to snap at you instead of speaking kindness. It's easier to cave in to Curious George on TV instead of discovering him in a book with you snuggled on my lap.

Yesterday, Auntie asked, "Who's your best friend, Emily? Is it Karsten or Audrey?"  

And you said, "No. It's Mom."

Mom. Grim, snappy, irritated Mom. And my heart just about caved in. I thought about it all night. This mom cloak that fits too overwhelmingly tight but that I miss when I take it off for even an hour

My sweet girl, tears brimming in blue eyes, lip protruding, with your infectious laughter and insatiable eagerness... I need to thank you.

Thank you. You light up immediately in response to these two simple words. They buoy you up. You're delighted. Radiant. You erupt forward in a tousled ferocious hug. You forgive instantly. You love crashingly. Emphatically.

Sometimes I get all tangled up in correcting you and I forget to see that in your exploring and expressing, your outbursts and your gentle sweetness, your observations and your queries, all you've been teaching me. 

Like to feel all the feelings, then move on.

You laugh. You cry. You dawdle. You wonder. You ponder. You pout. You remind me to savour it all, be completely present in the moment, then shake it off and carry on.

10 Seconds in the Life of Emily

To do small things with great love. 

You run to find your sister's soother and toys to keep her happy. You reverently carry me the dead ladybug discovered by the front door and solemnly ask me her name. You observe everything, you listen hard, and you understand that everyone is intrinsically valuable. 

To never ever stop exploring.  

You find wonder everywhere. You want to know everything. How many feathers will stick in your hair? Why were there feathers in that pillow? Why does the dishwasher wash spoons?  Where do unicorns live? Who is Santa's grandpa? 

This toddler stage is a huge learning curve for both of us and your sweetness, forgiveness, kindness and creativity keep teaching me more than I'm able to impart. 

I don't want to miss one lesson, little Ems, because I know that the time is coming when you grow to see that I'm not your best friend, but I am your boundary setter, your biggest cheerleader, your forever ally, your prayer warrior, your sounding board.  

And slowly but surely, the time is coming when I grow into the role model you call mom.


Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me... Don't look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father." (Matthew 18:4,5,10)


  1. I could not have said this better. It amazes me that you can yell at them out of frustration and then 2 seconds later they love and forgive. I can learn a lot. You write down everything I am thinking!

    1. Thanks Sarah! You look like such a fun creative mom and your kids are ridiculously adorable. I love following along with your days!

  2. What a great reminder Abbie - Thank you, great post.

  3. Replies
    1. Merci la belle! I like looking forward to the independence and creativity I see you fostering in your kids. So fun!!

  4. Very good reminder in a month like January! Thanks friend. She is so sweet.

  5. Very good reminder in a month like January! Thanks friend. She is so sweet.

  6. oh I felt this one deep deep in my heart! I couldn't have said it better (literally, could NOT have said it better - cause, well, I don't write that well lol). Thank YOU for expressing what I feel so exactly...

    Confessions of a Frumpy Mommy

    1. Thanks so much, Shaunacey! Also, I love your writing!

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