Each year on their birthdays I write my children a letter. This is Piper’s first letter.

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My darling girl,

I am in denial that you, my last baby, have had your last night as a baby and are bravely tackling the new moniker of toddler.  I am certain that this denial will follow your growth, but I promise not to let it get in the way of your growth. This past year has flown by. I feel as though I have blinked and you are one.

When your father and I were deciding if we wanted another baby, a woman told me “You might regret it if you don’t, but you will never regret it if you do.” She was so right. You are an absolute treasure to our entire family. You make us softer, kinder, and stronger.  When we go out it never fails that someone smiles at you and says softly, sometimes to us and sometimes under their breath “how precious”. Everyone we meet recognizes indeed how precious you are. Priceless.

Your brothers dote on you. Max loves you unconditionally and takes the job of protector and builder of self-esteem very seriously. You never go long without a kiss, a hug, and you never want for a toy, the very moment you reach for one your big brother is off to get it for you. Your eyes positively light up when you look at each other.  Huck also only has eyes for you.  Baby Big Brother is making you tough, he loves you so much, he sometimes hugs too hard and wants to hold you too tight. He teaches you to stand up for yourself, and heaven help whoever crosses you…he or she will have the three of you to deal with!

I was so worried about having a girl, I myself had a hard time and I struggled in my relationship with my mother. I will try hard not to repeat the same mistakes, but I am certain to make some. My love for you is all encompassing and every new accomplishment of yours is met with great celebration from us all.

You are the sweetest little girl, you are kind and gentle and you are such a delight that I don’t even care that you still wake up every two hours at night. Daddy doesn’t even care that sometimes I have to tag him in because at least once a week Pippy Dulli, Party Girl likes to party from 2-5 a.m.

You prefer savory to sweet, choosing chicken and vegetables over fruits. You love spaghetti and sauce. You hate sticky fingers.

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You were the first of my children who didn’t care for cake.

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But you love tiaras. Your first stop is always to steal anything pink, sparkly, or girly. You, so far, are all girly girl. When we showed you your presents you squeaked and squealed because they were pink and you knew they were for you. Recently we took you shopping and your father got the biggest kick out of what you and I already knew; you are a girl who knows what she wants. He would hold up a dress or shirt and you would either smile and reach for it cooing excitedly or give him a face that clearly said you can’t be serious, no way am I wearing that. 

That is how you came home with more clothes than anyone, none of us can resist you!

You are not easy to anger but woe upon the poor soul (usually Huck) who takes one of your toys from you. When you are really mad you put your fist in your mouth and shake your head back and forth making a loud noise. Everyone in the family knows this means Baby Sister is pissed.

You know what you like and you let us know. You are strong, determined, sweet, silly, kind, and the absolute light of this family. With each of your siblings we felt like we couldn’t fathom how we lived without them. That is still true. When you were born it was like we looked around, the five of us and felt well! we are all here now.

Happy First Birthday my sweet girl. You brought healing to old wounds, and though I was afraid to have a daughter I can honestly say all those fears are gone. I am surrounded by good mothers of daughters to look too, including both your grandmothers, and you have strong men who will love and care for you all your life. I missed out on that and I felt that loss tremendously, you won’t.

I love you with all of my being. Just the thought of you make me smile.

That woman was right, I never regretted it. You are a gift to us all. We love you.

Love, Mommy

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