Here's to you, Ms. Ella James

Dear Ella,

We haven't known each other for very long.  We've been bonding for some months now, but we just met face-to-face for the first time a few weeks ago.

I never knew a tiny human who could not yet speak, walk, smile, or hold her neck up could teach so much in such a short period of time.

But you have.

You've taught me how to slow down.
For as long as I can remember,  I've been told to slow down (by my grandpa, my math tutor, my soccer coach).  "Haste makes waste" my papa would tell me as I rushed through my horrid story problems.  My math tutor, who I have to thank for believing I could complete a math course with an A, often gave me the same advice.  "Try again.  Slower.  You'll get it."  She was often right.  When I started dating Dad, some qualities of his peaked my interest.  "He thinks before he speaks" my Gramps told me.  And that interested me  Your dad is a thinker.  He questions.  He doesn't half-ass.  By having conversations with him, sharing stories, doing homework together, I began to learn how to slow down.

And then you came along.

And you taught me not to run everywhere.  And if we have to stop to feed you in the parking lot after grabbing our take-out, it's not a big deal.  I've learned (and am still learning) how to take in these moments. I'm now realizing, if I go through life constantly running I'll simply miss out.

You've taught me how to be fully present in a moment.
The past few days, you've hated being put to bed.  You'll fall asleep on dad or I, but the moment we set you down to go to bed, you immediately wake up.  Last night, this happened a few times.  Finally, at 3:30AM I came out to the dark living room (lit only by our Christmas lights on the fireplace) and rocked you back to sleep.  The TV was off.  My phone was in the other room.  And although I wholeheartedly believe there is a time and place for a selfie, this was not the time nor the place.  After you were sound asleep, I sat there. And nothing mattered.

You've taught me about a love I didn't know existed.
They say you can't describe the moment your child is born.  You just have to experience it.  They were right. My heart grew bigger with love for you and your dad the moment you entered the world.  Who knew it was possible to love someone more than you did on your wedding day?

Do the lessons end here?  Not at all.  And I can't wait to see what a lifetime of lessons will bring.

This past weekend we celebrated Mother's Day - my first.  It was the best day.  And as familiar faces stopped to say, "Happy First Mother's Day!" I stopped and soaked in the gratitude I was feeling to you for making me a mom.

So, here's to you Ella for turning our world upside down in the best way possible.


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