Dear Briley,

Briley,

In the past year i have read more birth stories and dear baby letters than i can count. all of them have brought to tears to my eyes for one reason or another. the promise of love to a new baby..it’s a beautiful thing.

You , my lovely, hard-headed, hilarious, wild, sweet, overwhelming child…are no longer a baby.

And my new baby promises of I will never hurt you, I’m sure have been broken. My new baby promises to always have patience, have been tested. My new baby promises to you, have in a sense, been forgotten.

And that sounds terrible.

But this letter isn’t a new baby letter. It’s a real heartfelt message I want you to have for later. The relationship between me and 4-year-old you. Written down. Saved. Because, I have realized, that relationship changes as quickly as you are growing–far far too quickly.

When I was pregnant with your bother, I became obsessed with pregnancy and birth. I soaked up all the information I could find and constantly took pictures  of my growing belly.

And the more I became engrossed with my pregnancy with him, the more I regretted not being with yours. Because although I love you equally, I love you differently. And you changed me in a way nothing ever had before, or will again.

Although I love you equally, my pregnancy and birth story of you, has a much deeper honesty and growth to it.

You saved my life.

Before you, I was young and selfish. I had “dreams” of my future, but didn’t care of the consequences of the next day. I am not proud of who I was at that point in my life or the decisions I was making.

And then came the day I KNEW I was pregnant. 19 years old and TERRIFIED.

The EIGHT tests I took and lined up on the bathroom counter weren’t really necessary. I could already feel you inside me. Changing me.

As my body changed over the next 9 months and my world centered around it, I became resentful. I didn’t want to have to grow up yet. it wasn’t fair. This happened to other girls, not me.

But at night, when the world was quiet and I could enjoy your kicks in the dark…I could dream of what you would look like, what you would be like..and I started falling in love you with you. Fast and head over heels.

And then came you. All 6 lbs 15 ounces. After 15 hours of labor. After 9 months of dreaming you up. After all my fear, and excitement, and hope you would be perfect. and you were. All your dark hair. Your huge brown eyes that immediately seemed to recognize me. You were the most beautiful and incredible thing I had ever experienced.

And I loved you. Fast and unconditionally.

And as new days turned into months, I once again became resentful. I didn’t want to have such long nights and early mornings, when all my friends were living you and free. It wasn’t fair.

But at night, as I rocked you and you held on to me so tight, I knew you were bigger than that. and I loved you. Immensely.

Fast forward 4 years. I still don’t understand how it has been 4 years.

4 years of firsts, of laughs, of tears, of dreams, of fears, of accomplishments, of failures, of proud mommy moments, and plenty of mommy guilt.

Here we are.

You are so full of life. You want to know about everything and anything. You have the biggest imagination and an even bigger heart. You constantly stop to tell me how much you love me. How I am the best mommy you could have ever had. It is the sweetest thing. You make me laugh (and cry and scream) everyday and as you grow, I do too.

You are so frustrating at times, but there isn’t a moment of regret when it comes to you. All that resentfulness has been replaced with a love I cannot even put into words.

You are my mini. My baby girl. My motivation to be better than what I had. My motivation to become a person you can look up to. Who you can trust and turn to. Who you can fall back on.

For so long, it seems,  it was just you and I. Growing together. Trying to figure out this crazy world and our place in it. You changed my life. And for that, I thank you.

I will never be the perfect mother I promised to be the first time I looked at you. The world is a harder place than I thought, and being a parent is even harder.

But I do promise to always love you. Irrationally and completely.

That is a promise i will never break or falter in.

Forever, always, and no matter what,

Mommy

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Latest in the Benson home:

Mav is smiling and cooing like crazy. He had his 2 month check up yesterday, and is 22.5 inches and 14 POUNDS! chunky! He is sleping almost 5 hours at a time at night and is the best baby.

Briley is as sassy as ever and is impossible to get a picture of without mass amounts of bribery, hence the lack of her in these posts. She is in love with her brother. I cannot wait to watch them grow together.

I..have been a busy mama with etsy and am hoping, praying, and sending out positive thoughts to be even busier!

Taya is the best. <3.