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Dear Nora J.,

February 1, 2014

Dear Nora Jewel,
my May baby.

If you ever leave me, I don’t know what I’ll do.

You weren’t planned. I needed a break. Seeing another positive pregnancy test made me want to hurl. It wasn’t until I heard your heartbeat on the monitor that I fell in love.

And this love is like the kind you’ll experience in high school.
I don’t care who you are or what you do or what you want to wear or what you sound like or what you look like or what your favorite flavor of ice cream is. You are mine and I love you so much it hurts.

It hurts because my love for you is so big it would pour out of me if I let it, but I won’t. It hurts because it has to sit next to the fear in my heart that you’ll leave me too.

But we’ve made it this far and if you left it wouldn’t be fair.
If you’re anything like your brother, I know I’ll want a break from you when you’re 4 and you won’t stop asking “why?” and “what does it taste like?” but I won’t give you up for anything. Not for a minute.
I’m going to love waking up every 2 hours to feed you. I won’t even sleep. I hope you like Mountain Dew flavored breastmilk.

I hope you have brown eyes like your daddy.
(Sorry. I always pictured a little girl calling her daddy “Daddy,” but he still wants to be Pops. He deserves the world, so the last we can do is call him that.)

I hope you like to read so when you grow up, we can share books and talk about them like we live there, because you’ll understand that we really do until we get to the end. And in that period of not knowing what to do next, we’ll talk about that place like it’s here. Your imagination is going to be my favorite place to be.

I hope you appreciate having a big brother. Your middle school friends may have a crush on him when he’s in high school, but I’m going to try to teach him not to mind and not to break their hearts. He’s going to look out for you and he’ll always hug you even when it’s not cool anymore. I don’t mind if you have a nickname for him, just please don’t call him Bubba. We live in the south, but we don’t have to act like it.

I can’t wait to see your smile and hear the little sounds you’ll make. Even the big sounds. I want to hear all of them.
I can’t wait to introduce your daddy (sorry, your Pops) to his little girl.
I can’t wait to laugh at the mis-matched outfits he picks out for you.
I can’t wait for headbands and baby leggings. We can skip all the pink stuff if you want.

I can’t wait for your first crush on a boy, even though I know it’s going to hurt after a while. Hurting is  just a part of life, and without it, we wouldn’t appreciate the happy parts as much.
If anyone is going to teach you that, it’s going to be me. I could write you a book. And coincidentally, it would be about you.

I love you.
We still have so much to learn from each other.
Love, Momma.

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