Today I decided to write my letter to you. I am having a hard time deciding where to start. So, I guess I will start at the beginning. You came out the smallest and have fought hard to stay that way. When I think back to your journey through the NICU I can't think of much. You were small but very strong. You were the only one to breathe room air immediately. Of course you got tired after a while and needed assistance, but none the less, you let everyone know that you were a fighter and could take care of yourself. Looking back, you have stayed true to yourself. I know that sounds weird since you are only 22 months old, but you have always been very independent.
Your entire life has revolved around food. Since the moment you were born, our goal has been to get as much nourishment in you as possible. Being the smallest, everyone has coddled you and let you get by on your cuteness. Not me, your momma here has had a rough road. Everyone else could make a valiant effort to get you to eat, after failing miserably, they would say "She will eat when she is hungry." That is because they could go home and rest easy, knowing that their kids were older, bigger, healthier, and easier to deal with. I didn't get to do that. You would have starved to death before you were going to eat. It was my job to keep you alive. I am not exaggerating. This burden your dad and I carried for you in unexplainable. All the doctors, therapists, nurses, family, and friends couldn't get you to eat what you needed. We battled for months. You were one day away from surgery to have a feeding tube put in. I couldn't do it. I gave you one more chance to start eating before the doctors really pushed me into doing it. Thankfully, you started to grow. Slowly, but at least you were growing.
When you were littler, you didn't have much personality. Because of your malnourishment, you had a hard time even holding your head up. You were the last to do everything. I didn't think you would ever crawl. When you turned one year old you took off. Not in size, but you started to crawl and hold your bottle. Dawn, our favorite PT (Physical Therapist) began seeing you weekly. She worked miracles. In no time you were walking. Your personality came out and now you are a talking, smiling, laughing little girl. You never disappoint when we want a hug. Your red hair stands out in the crowd and people quickly associate your hair to your personality.
Everyone has given you a pass on doing the same things as your siblings. Just because you are smaller, they assume you won't be able to do as much. It is true, you do struggle from time to time, but you usually stay right behind the others in the action. The reason I chose to write to you today is because you have done something mind boggling to me today. I got you all up from your nap like usual. After changing five poopy diapers and answering a few phone calls I went to find you in the hallway. You were sitting nicely reading a book. My question to you is, how in the world did you get that shoe on your foot? I wish I could have seen that. You see, you are so special. You make people believe you can't do much so they don't make you do something you don't want to. Then out of the blue you show what you are capable of. When I think of who is the most individual leader I think of you. The others are a pack. They all think similarly and follow each others lead. You are very different. When I take you out with me you are a different kid. I think you are intimidated by your siblings. But, even when they attack you and steal your toys, you fight with all your might. You are strong.
I want you to know how special you are. It took a lot of work to get you here safely. Now that you are here I will do anything in my power to help you and keep you safe. You may not know it, but you need me. I let you think that things are your idea, like eating, but I am behind the scenes guiding you in the direction you should go. You have been such a sweet special baby. You didn't express it much in the beginning, but you love us. Every morning I walk into your room and you give me the biggest smile followed by the tightest hug ever. I love your sweet smile and your strong willed nature. I can't wait to see who you become. I hope that you never feel forgotten or overshadowed by your siblings. You are very different and special. God has a special plan for your life. We will always love you no matter what happens.