Monday, June 20, 2016

to nate on birthfather's day

You could've left. You could have said she wasn't yours.  You could've said you couldn't deal.  You could've made empty promises. You could've made Jade decide everything on her own.  You could've bugged out.  Our lawyer warned us SO many times that you probably would.  I yelled at him once.  He didn't know you.  What an amazing kid you are.  How brave and loyal and loving and kind.  You have a heart of gold, Nathan. You are hilarious and fun and goofy, just like her.  She is always happy. She gets that from you.  

You are so young and have been through more than any 19-year-old should have to...but you fight.  And you love.  You have a selfless love that allowed us to be parents to this perfect, beautiful little girl that you made.  You loved her more than you love everything else.  Your love for those around you is so evident. It kept me going whenever there was doubt. You love like I want Avaya to love.  With all of herself. 

Keep fighting. Because we love you. Because I need you to laugh with and get excited about dorky things with and share ice cream with and refuse to climb high places with. You are my spirit animal. Don't leave me, don't leave us, but mostly, don't leave her. She couldn't have a better baby daddy. 

And Nate, thank you. Thank you not only for our perfect little peanut, but thank you for saving us. Thank you for our family, not just The Johnstons, but OUR family: me, Spencer, Avaya, Jade, Jonah, you. We love you so much Nate. Keep fighting. You've got a lot to fight for. Happy birthfather's day buddy.  


Having the talk with you was different. We'd been friends first, so you knew my baggage. But I still felt the need for a reminder, just in case you wanted to change your mind or at least slow down.  I followed my standard format for my "tell your serious boyfriend that you can't have kids" discussion. I pulled out my Patriarchal Blessing.  "This says...." I tried to be reassuring, but honest.  I don't think you let me finish.  "We'll adopt," you said, "I don't care. I've never cared about having my own children.  My blood." So we did it.  You married me anyway.  You had surgery anyway.  We held hands through it all, anyway.  It was a road that was longer and steeper than we ever could have imagined when we said those words, "We'll just adopt," but the last part was true... "It will be ok."  We are ok.  We did it.  You did it.  You didn't have to, but you did.  That's why I always had the talk when things got serious between me and a beau.  I did it three times.  You were the one who took. My kind young man with an understanding heart.  The other two were nowhere near your match.

And now she's here! She's like your little trophy that you love to carry with you. Doe-eyed and shiny and all smiles for her Daddy.  She loves you so much she giggles at the mere sight of you because she knows something fun will happen when I place her in your arms.  (It will most likely involve going upside down.)  If you can't FaceTime us in the morning, she spends the rest of it grabbing my phone and saying, "Dadadadada!" like, "try again, Mom!"  You get the best giggles, you got the best burps, and you change the fastest diaper in the west.  You can feed her in complete darkness without waking her up, and you know what outfits go together.  

I know you'll help me to actually let her do hard things and to let her be cool.  You'll give her good advice about boys then curse yourself for it and I will sit back and smile and coo over how cute you guy are, wrapped around each other's fingers.  You'll teach her to drive and I'll be mad because one day she'll drive away...but she'll always come back for something fun to happen in your arms.

Happy Father's Day, Daddy.  You're the best.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

to those of you II

to those of you who are curled up in bed with a wet pillow instead of going to church. To those of you who cried so hard last night that their throat hurts this morning. To those of you who just cannot even handle Facebook today.  Whose IVF failed, whose test came back negative, who had a miscarriage, a failed placement, a child loss. I love you. I pray for you daily, and especially today.

To those of you who've cared for me on this day. Who've left me gifts at my mom's, who've boughten me Mother's Day baskets from the Young Women, who've sent me flowers and a card that said, "For all of the mothering you do for our kids." To those of you who've sent me cards and texts and Facebook messages. Who've made me feel loved, special, valued, and like a mom. Thank you. I love you, and your kindness will never be forgotten. You 

to my mom on mother's day

Remember when I was little and we'd play house all day? Remember trying to walk with me literally attached to your leg? Remember going on bike rides with me in a seat on the back? (I could've died!) Remember how you let me sleep with you every night and then you'd make me breakfast in (your) bed and you'd let me watch Days of Our Lives with you? Remember lemonade stands and ice-cream trucks and teaching me to fold laundry and making baby dolls and super hero capes out of towels? Remember how my birthdays were always the best and how you refused to celebrate St. Patrick's Day because it was Chelsi Day? Remember when I was a teenager and we would fight about my hair and how I was ALWAYS late for first period even though I woke up at 5:30 in the morning? Remember how I'd follow you through the house back-talking so you'd fight with me? You'd ignore me and it made me furious.  Sorry for that. Remember how we would spend our summers at Cherry Hill and Wild Waters and Surf and Swim and we'd smell like chlorine and sunscreen and heat?  Remember how when you had to get a job you hired a nanny to take us to those places when you were stuck at work? Remember when you'd get home after working 12 hours and get in the bathtub to relax but I'd come and put my feet in and tell you all about my day and who said what to who and asked if you thought so-and-so liked me because he touched my arm?  Remember when all of my friends abandoned me, but you, my best friend, never did? I do.  I love you. Happy Mother's Day. 
Ps. Sorry for being a little shit.   

Friday, May 6, 2016

to jade on birthmother's day

What do you say to the woman who made you a mother? Who made you whole? Who gave your life purpose? Who healed you when you were broken? Who broke her heart in half and gave one half to you? Thank you? There are no words profound enough that express the enormity of my love for and gratitude to you. I love you with a ferocity that I don't have for anyone else. My love for you is its own. 
When I look at my daughter, I see your beautiful eyes and I see my love for you. I love your eyes, I love your pretty hair, your smile, and that when you giggle your nose scrunches up a bit. I love your strength, your wisdom, your selflessness. I love how I've literally never heard you say a bad word about anyone. Ever. I want to be like that. I love your style and shopping with you. I love our mutual love for makeup and how we are perfectly matched because we are both always an hour late. I love how you love your family. I love your loyalty. I love how you love Jonah and how you love Avaya. I really love you. 
I know today your heart is hurting and heavy. I know you miss our baby girl today. I remember all those mother's days missing her too. We flop places a lot, don't we? There's pain and worry and loss that we've each taken from each other. Truly two halves. Thank you for half of your heart, my sacred vessel. I love you. Happy Birthmother's Day.