You're 15 months old. Where in the world did time go? It seems like just yesterday I was staring at you through hazy eyes and not believing the fact that I had a daughter. I have big dreams for you, little Rosie, but I know your dreams for yourself will be even bigger!
Tonight you and I had the best time outside. It was so simple. We drove your car around for a while then you explored the back yard, talking to yourself and touching everything in sight. You are so curious, wanting to feel all the textures and smell each blade of grass and flower petal. You are a science girl, that's for sure. I hope that love always stays with you. It's not from your mom, it's definitely your dad's influence.
You remind me every day that the simple things in life are the most magical. Today you discovered that you can get up and down the two stairs to the deck by yourself. You squealed with delight and performed your trick 15 times. I forgot how hard it is to learn to go up and down stairs. You reminded me tonight, Ro, that being able to walk easily and quickly is a skill, a privilege, not a right. It is earned and some people never have that freedom. You amaze me!
You have started singing to me every morning over the monitor. It's one of the greatest joys in my life to wake up to a chorus of "Ma ma ma ma...dad dad dad dad..." Then when I open your door and Millie bounds in to the room, a resounding DOG!! fills the air. You are so simple, so sweet, so precious to me.
Your eyes are the most beautiful shade of green. (Again, that's all your dad!) Our darling Physician Assistant Jan remarked this morning that she's never seen a little girl with eyes that color. I agreed but silently my heart was exploding with pride. You are one in a million in so many ways. You have no idea the potential you have for greatness. When I say greatness, Rory Beth, what I mean is you will be great at whatever you choose to love. I hope you love to dance, but that's merely a hope. I hope you love to learn and read and gather knowledge the way I do. I hope you enjoy hard work and realize the value of physical labor the way your dad does. I hope you inherited from him honesty and integrity at work as well as respect for your superiors. See Mommy is her own boss, so you need to follow Dad's example there. Remember always that a job is, just like walking, a privilege, not a right and it can be taken away. You must choose each morning to work harder than the day before. You need to wake up with determination for the task at hand, be it walking around the house three times without falling, passing a math test or putting in a long 8 hour day at the office. You my girl are an untapped resource of potential and it is up to you to become the best version of yourself.
Lots of mommys write their little ones letters every month. I didn't. To be honest, Rosie Roo, I wanted to but I forgot. I get so caught up in our daily life, our routine that I forget sometimes how fast you are growing and changing. I look back at pictures from this time last year and you don't match the baby in those pictures at all! You are so tall, so pretty with your sandy hair and green glass eyes. Your dimples crack me up, but not as much as your "fake out kisses" and strong desire to sit on your couch whenever Daddy or Mommy sits on the big people couches. Please realize that just because you don't have a completed baby book (oops!) or love notes every month (again, oops!), I still cherish each day with you. I know, baby girl, I know that too soon I will blink and you will be headed off to school.
If there's one thing I can tell you that I hope you will remember it's this. "NO ONE can make you feel inferior without your consent." A really great woman named Eleanor Roosevelt said that once a long time ago and my favorite history teacher, Mr. Sirianni, repeated it to me when I was in high school. (I'll tell you all about both these great people someday, chicken.) It's the truth. My life philosophy, really. Remember, you are not alone in any situation. Daddy and I are here for you and more importantly, your Heavenly Father is with you, too. NO ONE has the right to make you feel bad about yourself. Don't ever allow someone to do that to you. It will happen too often, you're a girl. What I want you to do is choose to be strong and courageous and realize that you are fantastic, no matter what anyone else says. If you don't believe "them" when they tell you how inferior you are, then eventually "they" will have to be quiet because no one is listening! Try it, baby, it works. I promise.
Rory, you are named after three incredible women and I want you to learn the best all three have to offer. Kindness and humility from Grandma Ann, creativity and fairness from Grammie Beth, knowledge and courage from Rory on TV. You are the best of your dad and I combined and don't ever forget that. God made you special and it's my greatest joy to hear you call me Mom.
I love you, sweet girl.