Before you were a sister… {a letter to my daughter}

Dear Isla,

Ever since finding out I was pregnant with your sister, I’ve been meaning to write this letter to you. But at 7 weeks, just like with you, the all day nausea kicked in and before I knew it I was in my third trimester. Tired and unmotivated to take pictures or blog them. But today I grabbed my iced espresso, sat down at the computer and just started typing. Because we only have a little over 8 weeks to go before all my time is split between two little girls. It makes me equal parts sad and excited.

I think about all the one on one time you and I have had. Staying up late, snuggling and laughing. Sleeping in with no interruption. Every moment belongs to you. In some ways I feel like I’m taking that from you. And it’s special because as much as I know I will love your little sister, she and I will never have the alone time you and I have had for over 3 years. She will never be the only baby I love in the whole wide world like you have been for so long.

But yesterday at your Spring Performance (which was adorable by the way!), you were sitting next to your friend Evie and she said to your teacher “I have a sister named Mia”. Before Ms. Sally could respond to her, you piped up and said “I have a sister named Cora!!”. And my heart melted. You didn’t even know I could hear you. But you said it with pride, the way I might say “I have a daughter named Isla.” The truth is, I’m not having a baby – we’re all having a baby. She’s ours. Our new little family member. And she will have things that you didn’t have.

She’ll be welcomed by 6 loving arms instead of just 4. She will benefit from parents who are a little less paranoid and a little more experienced than yours were. And she will have the best big sister anyone could ask for.

I used to be so good about writing you a letter each month, but already you are sharing my energy with your sibling as I’ve started to slip up more and more. There are so many things I want to remember and I hope I will. You are stubborn and funny. You love to sing “Anaconda” and “No Money” (aka Blank Space by Taylor Swift). You are a performer in every sense. You dance like Mick Jagger. You love to shock us by pulling down your underwear and saying “look at my Bouley butt”. You always want to wear your Elsa dress (except it’s pajamas and I really can’t let you wear it to school but you would if you could). You always want ice cream but getting you to eat anything else is usually a fight. You will carry on a crystal clear conversation with just about anyone – it’s amazing how this seemed to happen overnight. You want to know what everything is called and I love when you try to describe something you don’t have a word for – just yesterday you asked me to get Charlie’s scarf (you meant his leash).

Things will be different soon. I imagine it will be a harder transition for me than for you. Or at least a quicker transition for you. There will come a time when you likely won’t remember your life before Cora. Which is so strange to me since I feel like the past three years are such a huge part of my life. I hope the stories I’ve jotted down in notebooks, on Facebook and here on this blog help you to remember or at least imagine what this time has been like. I hope I’ve taken enough pictures. Okay I’ve definitely taken enough pictures but I hope I’ve printed enough! And that I’ve captured your toddlerhood in an honest and authentic way. My wish is that when you’re older, you’ll be able to look back on these photographs and even if you don’t really, it feels like remembering.

Here are a few from the past two months or so that I never made time to blog. You are the sweetest little girl and I love you with all my heart.