Reese Avalon (Year One).

Dear Reese,

Years ago, I came across a quote from Elizabeth Stone that I quite simply fell in love with. I thought it the perfect summation of what it feels like to have a child (or at least, what I thought it would feel like when I got that blessing someday).

“Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.”  

On October 29th, 2012, you came flying into this world. And suddenly, I understood what Elizabeth Stone meant. I also quickly understood that that kind of love, that overwhelming desire for a life to be full of nothing but blessings, could extend far beyond the arms of parenthood. You are your mom and dad’s child (most definitely), but you are also a little piece of everyone’s heart, and you tumble through your days while all of us hold our breath, praying God’s goodness over all that you do.

The first 6 months of your life are days that I will FOREVER cherish. Living with your family, watching you grow, what a privilege! I would drive home from work every morning exhausted, but excited to get my morning snuggles in with you before crawling into bed. The night I got up with you when you were just two weeks old is one of my most precious memories of those months.  I loved watching your dad come home from work, kiss your mom on the cheek, and pick you up with his customary, “Hey kid.” And your Momma? My goodness, how she loved you through every single one of your days. You see Reese, those brief moments in time gave me a glimpse of what it will be like to be a mother. Terrifying, yes. Exhausting, yes. But the most important job my hands will ever do? Absolutely.

Let me say something about your mom and dad too. They love you, with all that they are. It is has been SO fun to watch them change, watch them figure out the complexities of your personality, the intricacies of what brings you joy. You truly are their heart, clamoring through each day with a stubbornness purpose and will that I have rarely seen in a child so little (and one which I attribute directly to your genetics). Ultimately, the struggles and challenges of this year forced them to decide (as all parents must), to let you go, to let you grow, and to trust God in the midst of it. It has been absolutely amazing to watch.

When you were born, I challenged you with this, “Be bold, be confident, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t. You can, Reese, and I know you will.” You, my little one, are answering every piece of that challenge over your life. You are completely unabashed about who you are and what you want. You are SO serious, choosing to smile only when you are ready to. You are open to everyone, but you love with purpose. You eat with passion like your Momma (you should probably stop throwing food on the floor though…it drives your mom crazy). You are so intentional like your dad. You drive Dodger crazy. I could go on much longer, but all of these things point to this –> You are already stronger than I thought you were.

Reese, you are a joy in the lives of every member of this family. You have brought us nothing but delight since the day you were born. I speak for all of us when I say that we love discovering the nuances of who you are. We believe in you, we pray for you, and we are CERTAIN that the things and people in whom you someday choose to invest will be utterly blessed by you.

Be bold, be confident, and never let anyone tell you that you can’t. You can, Reese, and now I’m certain that you will.

I love you,

Auntie Lola

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