For Emma.

My oldest. I love you dearly. The days just fly by as you become a young girl. Your more like me than you think, and even though that might scare you a bit, its still a joy to see myself in you. Your beautiful face can only make mine glow with happiness. Your first year was the hardest on me. I had no idea what I was doing. There I was, a teenage mother without her own for help and support. I was alone. I had daddy, but he was right along with me. Completely clueless and without a job. When he joined the army and left for basic training, it was up to me and me alone to make sure you were never left without.  As you continued to grow, so did I. I began to make every minute count towards your hopeful life. You were everything to me. My life had changed so much and I couldn’t understand how I even made it without you. You were such a joy. My first little baby and I thought you were perfect.

As the years went by, my head started to get cloudy. I was depressed. At this time daddy was in Afghanistan and it was me and you. Alone. Again. Looking back now I could’ve done so much better. I wish I could’ve played with you more. All mommy wanted to do was sleep. I wanted to curl in a ball in my bedroom, which I made as dark as I could, and never come out. But I obviously couldn’t do that. I had a youngin to take care of. I did the best that I could considering the circumstances. As it got worse, your Bammy told me to go see a doctor and to get on some medication. I was against it at first. I was too stubborn to realize I needed psychotics to make me, well, me again.  It took a couple weeks for them to kick in and do what they were made for. But when they did, oh when they did. It was awesome. I was happy, bright, rested, and best of all I was your mommy again. I wanted to enjoy the last couple of months we had before daddy got back home. And we did. We tried to laugh as much as possible since we had missed out a couple months prior. Anything you wanted to do, we did.

Daddy came home in April and the house dynamic had changed completely. You had changed completely. He didn’t know his little girl anymore and had to get to know who you were all over again. It didn’t take him long, he’s super daddy. In your eyes, he can do anything. And vice versa. He loved you with his all. To this day, you are still his number one. Shortly after he came home, mommy got pregnant with Autumn. So many thoughts and feelings were happening to me. What did we just do to you? What were we thinking? I didn’t know how I was ever going to love another child as much as I loved you. I was sure you were going to feel replaced. So in between throwing up and sleeping I made sure you got as much attention as you wanted. It was a long 9 months, but we eventually began to see the lighter side of things. You were now going to be a big sister. You had such a great responsibility and you had no idea. She would look to you for guidance and come to you with her problems that she would be sure you’ve experienced before. A sister is an irreplaceable gift.

When Autumn was born, so much had changed. It took you a few weeks to understand that she was here to stay. Forever. Once you realized that, it was set. You were her protector. Every little noise, “Mommy I got her.” You wanted to be involved in every diaper change, every bath, and every feeding. At that moment my heart almost exploded. Here I have two beautiful children that God had worked so hard on. All mine. Both of you were all mine. Until you would get older and leave to start your much hard worked for life. I can wait for that.

Now your a big girl and getting ready to start your first year in school. I couldn’t be more terrified for you. Your going to realize that people in this world are mean and they don’t care. This world is a big scary place for such a little mite like you. I just want to hold you tight and never let go. Just know, Emma Lain, that I couldn’t be more proud of you. Even though, you have yet to start the long journey ahead, I’m still proud. I know you’ll go far in life. Especially if you want to. There will be moments that you’ll think your life is over and it can’t get better. Trust me, honey. It does. So when your down and feel there’s no getting up, just remember, mommy’s here.

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