A Letter to Edith: Your 2nd Birthday


My Dearest Edith,

Tomorrow, you become a 2 year old. Sometimes it’s not fair how fast time seems to fly. Two years ago from this very moment, I was packing and getting things prepared for the next morning, the day you would be born. For most parents, the delivery of their child comes unexpectedly, but you, my little bear, decided to be different. You were breech. In other words, you chose to keep your head up toward Momma’s, forcing the doctors to plan a Cesarean section. So your Dad and I left the house around 4 in the morning and you entered this world at 8:18 am.

The first thing I heard your Daddy say once you were born was “She’s got my toes!” You’ll understand what he means by the time you read this yourself. When I held you for the first time (it brings tears to my eyes every time I think of it), my life changed. It was the best feeling of my life. I said, “Hi, Edith, I’m your mommy.” And I could tell that you already knew this. You stared at me, and it was peaceful and right. God gave me you. God gave Dada you.

Now, it’s April 30, 2015, and every day we love you even more than the last. God’s love is amazing and a true mystery. How is it possible for us to love this much and for it to grow exponentially each and every day? This is only a glimpse of the love that our Creator has for us. Truly a miracle, yet you’ve helped your Dad and I to understand it more than we ever could have before. Life is such a beautiful and remarkable gift, and your life has already changed so many others’ for the better.

To enlighten you on just how wonderful you have made our lives, I will begin to reminisce on this past year with you. You’ve learned so incredibly much, and you’ve done spectacular things.

Even though we thought you’d walk super early, you didn’t work up the confidence until your 14th month. Your dad and I were in shock when we saw you steps away from the ottoman, holding your rosary. You had the biggest smile on your face and were giggling at our excitement. Now, you run all over the place! You especially like running down the slope in our backyard.

To be honest, Dada and I are convinced that you are without a doubt the most intelligent child of your age. Months before your 2nd birthday, you practically mastered the ABCs song and you dominated counting (I believe you can now count to 20). You got really good at your shapes puzzle and can name colors and shapes when you see them. You have learned to recognize letters in the alphabet. You do prayer hands and on occasion will participate in the Sign of the Cross. You sing “Pinkle pinkle, little star” and sometimes mix it up with the ABCs, after all, they do share the same melody. Gramma Bear Swyden taught you “Happy Birthday” a few months ago, and you’ve loved singing it ever since. Two of our favorite things that you started this past year was saying “Oh dosh” when reacting to something and the second is saying “Mon” while waving your hand, directing us to come play whatever you have in mind. That has transitioned into “Tome on, Dada or Damma or Momma or Reid. You love Reid. You love going down to Shawnee to play with him and his stuffed animals and cars. You love “fwinging.” You adore all of your grandparents and uncles and aunts and having time with them. Gramma Bear is so good at playing with you and goes with you wherever you wish. Grandma & Grandpa make you laugh and always take you outside. Grandma ALWAYS gives you treats to eat, especially fruit chews. Grammy Sue & Papa take you to the park and let you slide down their stairs. You also love Bob the dog, and of course Millie.

You can carry on conversations with us, and it is soooo much fun! A few weeks ago I painted a wall in Momma and Dada’s room. You took notice, asking me “What did Momma make?” I replied, “I painted!” Then you told me, “Oh wow, dat looks awesome!”  Just last night I asked you when you are turning two, and you said “Friday.” Then I asked how old you were that very day, and you said “One!” You are able to grasp a lot of complicated concepts and ideas. You love pretending! You like to play in your kitchen and “cook” for us. Many times during the day, you pretend to call Dada or one of your grandmas and have conversations with them. You like to pretend you are playing in the snow and will throw snowballs at me and make snow angels. Sometimes, you pretend to “make sand.” Last week, you told me you wanted to “be like Mary,” so I took a blanket and draped it over your head and you loved it! You love going to adoration and holding the statue Jesus’s hand. You love singing and dancing along with several of your favorite Disney songs. You also love “Ring Around the Rosie” and insist on Momma and Dada to join you. Your favorite movie is still Finding Nemo, which is why I have decked out our house in Nemo decor for your birthday party this year. You also love watching SuperWhy, mainly because of the puppy on it. You love to color, paint, and color with chalk outside. You love blowing bubbles, going to the park, and riding in your blue car. You adore books. Your favorites right now are Brown Bear, Brown Bear (you like to “read” it to us as well), Easter “Hullaboo,” and princess stories. You love getting into Momma’s bed with her, yet you also love your Edith sleeping bag from Grammy Sue and Papa. You like to help me, whether it’s cleaning or cooking or shopping or anything. You loooove taking care of your babies. You are going to be the most amazing sister to Baby Cami once she’s here in just a few short months. The other day you put your soft bear up to my tummy so Cami could “feel.” You are also always looking out for your friends that come over. You make sure they have their drink cups and you tell them “Let’s be nice!”

Of course, you are more beautiful than ever, and you get SO MUCH attention because of it. We never go to the store without someone talking to you and telling you how great of a helper you are and how “you sure are pretty.” Your hair is blonde with soft curls, and your big blue eyes are showstoppers. You have a few precious freckles on your face, and you still have Dada’s toes, just not as pronounced as when you were born.

Speaking of your Dada, you love him. He took you to the park last night, just the two of you, and on your walk back you kept saying, “I love my Dada.” You love him as he is, too. Many times you would ask me, “Where’s Dada?” and then without giving me time to answer, you’d say “Oh, blowin’ his nose.” Now, you’d probably say he blows his nose “like an elephant.” His heart melts for you, and he is so good at playing with you, teaching you, giving you baths, and making you laugh. When he gets home from work, I love watching both of your faces light up because you both know it’s time to play.

Your Dada and I pray for you every day, and most of all, we thank God for you. You have given our lives so much meaning. Because God gave us you, we aren’t Ryan and Olivia; we’re Momma and Dada. Because God gave us you, we have grown closer in love as a family. Because God gave us you, we have more to laugh about, more to cry about, more to rejoice about, and more to live for. Thank you, Edith, for being you. And thank you, God, for giving us Your beautiful daughter to call our own in this life.

I love you,



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