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  • Michelle Haskell

A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER ON HER 2ND BIRTHDAY //

To my sweet Savannah James, happiest of birthdays to you.


I always wanted a daughter who challenged me, and God most certainly delivered when He gave me you. Savannah James, not only do you challenge me daily, you motivate and inspire me in so many ways. You challenge my behavior and habits because you observe and mimic my every move. You motivate me to be healthy - physically, emotionally, and spiritually - because I want the same for you. You inspire me to play and to be creative, to get down on your level, and to let the child in me join you. You challenge me to be stern when I must be, not because I want to be, and to follow through with my words and promises. You motivate me to be patient, to slow down, to take the time and not always be in a hurry. You inspire me to see the world through your eyes, and to look at the simplicity and beauty in everything around me. You challenge me to let go of control, so you can learn and do things independently. You motivate me to be a better wife, mother, and daughter than I was the day before, because I am responsible for teaching you those roles. You inspire me to be a better person for myself, but more importantly for you.


Savannah James, I never want to forget the way you pout your lips. Or the way you say color (ka-lour), stop it while grinning (stahp it), I’m sorry (I saw-we), William’s name (will-yum / will-wee) or how you point to yourself and think you’re Minnie Mouse because she’s on your shirt (I men-ee). I never want to forget witnessing you do things for the very first time. I never want to forget your silly dance moves you unfortunately got from me. Or the way you drink queso from a bowl and request a dipping sauce with every meal. I never want to forget how you run to daddy because only his kisses can heal your ouchies. I never want to forget how excited you get and say a bunch of words in a high-pitched voice I can’t understand. I never want to forget how deeply I love you - every part of you, from your crazy haired mullet to your curled-up toes to your deep belly laugh. I never want to forget how soft and gentle you are when you first wake up. Or your squeezes and wet kisses. Or how your hair smells after a bath. I never want to forget how hard it is to put you down after you’ve fallen asleep in my arms. I never want to forget how frustrated you get when you can’t figure something out and how stubborn you are when you want your way. I never want to forget how truly messy your face gets after eating spaghetti. I never want to forget watching you learn, seeing the way you process things, and how truly amazed I am by you. I never want to forget your silly quirks and mannerisms and all the other little details that make you, you.


Savannah James, I hope you remain sassy, strong-willed, and independent. I hope you always dance when music starts to play, even if it is only a commercial. I hope you know how much I miss you when I am not with you, and how much my heart hurts when I am away. I hope you always want to talk with your grandparents and godparents, and you know how truly special they are. I hope you always make us laugh, even when you’re doing things you’re not supposed to be. I hope you always hold Travis’s hand, and someone else’s when you walk across the street. I hope you know you make my day every day. I hope you continue to make mistakes, learn from them, and apologize when you need to. I hope you love your brother more tomorrow than yesterday, and always want to start your mornings by seeing him. I hope you always consider him your partner in crime, share all your things with him, and care for him the way you do. I hope you always push your limits and redefine your boundaries. I hope you always make time for the elderly at church and always point to the moon at night. I hope you always have the perfect combination of kind and ornery. I hope your love for Minnie Mouse never dies. I hope you always want to go on adventures with daddy, and never pass up the opportunity to go outside. I hope you always want to color and read books, and continue to spend hours doing both. I hope you know I am your biggest fan and always will be. I hope you always say please and thank you. I hope you always remain a tad reserved at first, and then become your silly self once you feel safe to do so. I hope you always think a pair of boots makes the perfect outfit complete. I hope you know watching you learn and grow brings me so much joy. I hope you always wrinkle your nose when you think something is funny before you start to laugh. I hope you always say goodbye to everyone in the room before you leave. I hope you always remain carefree, spirited, and happy. I hope you stay my best friend for forever. I hope you know my love for you is unwavering. I hope you know I will love til the cows come home, to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond, without end, amen.


To my sweet Savannah James, happiest of birthdays to you.