Dear Sayla

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When I recall the days and weeks after your birth, I think of Gilmore Girls, Guinness beer, and Mother’s Milk tea. I remember the relief that you had finally arrived—resting in my arms, childbirth behind me—and the overwhelming uncertainty of how I was going to manage taking care of you. It was a bittersweet time. And though I can vividly recall the feelings of fear and inadequacy as a new mom, I still have fond memories of those early days, of wearing you in the baby wrap and walking beneath the trees, the changing of seasons both in nature and life.

Before you, I wasn’t quite sure I was suited for motherhood. I wasn’t really a “kid person.” I didn’t coo at babies or desire to hold them, and in my mind, kids were just sticky, germy, and whiny. I worried that I wouldn’t like parenthood, or worse, that I would regret it. But it turns out, I love being your mom, sticky hands and all. I love hanging out with you and taking care of our family and home. All of that traditional homemaker stuff suits me quite well.

So I’m here to say, two years into this thing, that I’m so grateful we took the leap in having you. We named you Sayla Joy to remind ourselves that you are a blessing from the Lord and not a burden. There are times when it doesn’t feel like a joy, when it’s hard and tiring and frustrating, but more often than not, you are a joy: to have you at the dinner table or riding along in the car, to hear your little feet pounding across the floor, your sweet voice saying a new word, your laughter filling the house. Living life alongside you brings new meaning to joy, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t thank God for bringing us together, for redeeming us and making us a family.

You are loved and cherished, my sweet Sayla. Happy Birthday!

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