My beautiful girl turns 4 tomorrow!
It feels like yesterday she made her appearance in the world, instantly making us fall in love with her and changing our lives for the better. I remember being blown away as Carl and I walked out of the hospital with her that they were letting us take a baby home, as if they thought we would know what to do! I still think nurses and doctors must cringe every time they let new parents leave with a tiny bundle they have to learn how to take care of. In our case, she was less than 6 lbs when we left, and, being from good Dutch stock where an 8 lb baby is fairly small, I thought she would break for sure!
I pray for anyone I love that their first baby (or all their babies!) would be like Gemma – she had, and has, the sweetest of personalities, slept through the night within the first month, slept anywhere and everywhere, and was snuggly, affectionate and loving. I truly believe each person is given what they can handle at the time, and with everything that was going on in our lives at the time I can’t imagine having had to deal with a difficult baby too. When Gemma was 3 months old we moved to Ottawa, Carl 2 weeks before me, and she never batted an eye at sleeping on the floor at the airport, on the seat beside me on the plane, on the couch at the hairdresser while I prepped for a dear friend’s wedding in a different town right before leaving, on the hard floor of our new apartment when our furniture took an extra day to arrive…needless to say, she was easy to love.
I’m not a person who’s ever been interested in kids (don’t hate me), and everyone had told me my own kids would be different, but I didn’t believe it until Gemma was actually in my arms. (For the record, my second has a vastly different personality, and I’ll be honest, if he had been my first I’m not sure I would have been convinced as quickly. Is that terrible? Kids are a funny thing, let’s be honest.)
Today Gemma remains a daily joy and blessing to us. She is sweet and considerate, eager to help, outgoing and friendly, and incredibly patient with her little brother. She looks more like me but she has her daddy’s height, so I’m hoping she turns out more coordinated than me :) She constantly amazes us with her ability to learn. She must know a thousand songs and books by heart, and is suddenly fascinated with drawing and writing, going from no interest a few months ago to now drawing whole families with pets, writing her entire alphabet, and trying to sound out words all over the place. It is truly amazing to watch her little mind work, and we pray we are given many more years with her to watch her grow and develop.
We thought about putting her in preschool this year but another mom pointed out to me that “once they’re gone, they’re never back“, and that was all it took to help me decide against it – I want to enjoy her as long as possible!
Happy birthday to our sweet little girl!! We love you to the moon and back.
All photos by Unexpected Moments Photography. Thanks Sarah!!