You have made me appreciate red wine,
and the true spirits of tomato and orange juice
more than ever.
Thank you for giving me an excuse
to take naps in the middle of the day
and for making me take the spring semester off;
I didn’t want to take those lit classes anyway.
You have given me an outie
where there used to be an innie,
and it’s weird.
Thank you for giving me a reason to replace
The Very Hungry Caterpillar—
and the excuse to reread it;
to play peek-a-boo,
to teach you baby sign language,
to cut up the moon for you,
to show you that you don’t have to do it all
to have it all,
to show you that you can do anything a boy can do
(but that you don’t have to),
and to tell you about the people I wish you could know
and who I wish could know you.
You have kicked me when I am down
(for the night),
but I don’t mind,
for it lets me know you are still there.
Thank you for showing me how much
I can love someone I’ve never met
but know is there—
who I love even more than I love myself
(and that’s a lot!).
You took your sweet time getting here,
yet you came at seemingly the perfect time,
for who I am now
is better than who I’ve ever been.
Thank you for giving me another chance to do this . . . all over again.
It took a while to get your name just right,
but know that what we chose to call you
was not to honor anyone but you.
Thank you for coming to be a sister to my other little girl,
who will need you and share your toys for you from time to time.
Enjoy the abundance of the girl who beat you to it
and who will be more than happy to share hers—
especially the Calico Critter house with the dog-eared bunnies.
Don’t mind their shabby appearance,
for they have endured the play of Hurricane Hannah.
Let her show you how milk makes the best bubbles,
how you can sound like an elephant if you blow your nose hard enough,
and how to play pretend with anything.
Let this other little girl tell you what you have missed,
even as you will experience things she will miss.
Share your stories.
When your dad and I have gone,
stay close to her,
for no one else will have the same memories of us
that you two will.
You are ready to meet the world,
but is the world ready to meet you?
Thank you for showing the world
that even in times
of pandemics and all manner of upheaval,
life goes on,
for babies are still being born.
Children are precious,
for they are the future.
I am so glad your lease is up on January 15, 2021—
with the prerequisite grace period, of course.
And always remember,
that just as you will leave my body,
I will someday leave your life.
And I pray that I will have given you everything you need
to take care of yourself
(and hopefully others),
so take care,
and we will see you soon.
But most of all,
remember that whatever you choose to do
may not be essential to the world,
but it will be essential to you,
for it will give you purpose and provide for you
and any who may come after you.
Know that you do not have to know
what it is you want to do
at the same time as everyone else,
for lifelong learning
includes learning about yourself.
Find your quiet place,
where you can take the time to reflect,
for when you know yourself,
you can be yourself,
Miss Amelia Skye.