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Dear Charlie

This is the final installment of a three part series of letters written to each of my children. It is a few weeks late, but it is done!

Dear Cha Cha,

I didn't know it at the time but when you were growing in my belly I developed antepartum depression and was miserable. The more miserable I was the more guilty I felt. I felt guilty for bringing you into an uncertain situation, I felt guilty for being angry and resentful, and I felt guilty for not feeling connected to you at all. It was awful and embarrassing and I generally went through it in quiet shame. Then at 6:35 pm on Valentine's day I saw your face for the first time while the whole world fell away, and all that was left for a few moments was the pure love flowing between us. Thank you Charlie for existing.

I hope that you continue to be so sweetly affectionate. Your hugs, tender cuddles, and butterfly kisses are little treasures that brighten up my day. I watch you with your friends and see that you aren't shy to hold hands, hug them, tell them that they are "super cute" or "so really smart". These little words of affirmation and attention are gifts to everyone, and I love that you don't hoard them or dole them out in tiny bits like treats to be earned. You want people to feel good and you want people to know that they are special, and my baby, that makes you so special.

Your tender loving heart also holds a quick temper, and I hope that I am able to help you learn to curb that at least a tiny bit. I mean, I know exactly where you got it from and please listen when I tell you, our quick temper can get us into trouble. Once some things are said they can never be unheard, once lines are crossed they can never be uncrossed. I would much rather you learn from me how to take deep breathes and be calm before speaking or acting than to learn the hard way. You will always be my feisty honey badger, lets just keep you out of the zoo.

I cannot believe I am saying this, but Girl I hope you stay stubborn. Right now, I wouldn't mind a little (or a lot) more flexibility on your end, but I know how much the ability to dig in your heels and refuse to move an inch will help you later. When you are grown and have set a goal, or made a decision, or believe in something with your whole heart... no one will be able to move you from your purpose. I am already so proud of whatever those things will be.

I hope that you hold on to the ability to express your feelings. Sure, you come across as a little dramatic right now, but I am certain that it is because at the delicate age of four you feel every single emotion one hundred percent. When you are sad you tell me that your heart is broken. When you are happy you jump up and down and scream that it is the best day ever, and while you swing back and forth at a sometimes alarming pace... you teach me to be more open with my words and feelings.

Lastly my littlest Love, I hope that you keep exercising that imagination. You are starting to write songs, tell stories, create worlds for your teeny tiny toys, and want to create art all the time. Your imagination is so strong right now, and I sincerely hope that it continues to grow and you revel in it. I know that you will dream up greater and greater things, and I also know that you will be able to do anything you set your mind to with all your stubborn sass. I can't wait (but I also want to wait because you are growing up so quickly) to see what those things are!

I love you Cha Cha, my wild girl.

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