Do you know how absolutely adorable you are? How much we love your spunk and personality? You are an irreplaceable addition to our family and we are better for having you. Only 2 1/2 years old and you already seem completely in tune with your surroundings. I can’t help but wonder if you are picking up on all the activities, therapies, help, and attention Cali receives daily. The thought occurred to me yesterday…I should write a letter to Ava. A letter you could read years from now and be reminded that we have cherished you from the moment you arrived.
July of 2010 was the month you came. Your dad had picked the name Ava, but I wasn’t quite sure it would be the perfect fit. We went into the hospital with three names. Ava, Tatum, and Austin. In my mind if you came with brown hair and looked more like Casey you would be an Ava. Don’t ask me for the logic behind this, there isn’t any:) Darker hair it was! We now held an Ava in our arms and neither of us could have imagined just how incredible our lives would now be with this instant change.
Two kids!! Only a 22 month gap between you and Cali and yes life was pretty crazy busy for the first year. Fortunately for us you were a happy baby. Not so much easy but happy. I should have known that crawling at five months and holding your own spoon after a month of starting solid foods was an indication of your strong will and independent spirit! As I said you were happy but not entirely easy. Always busy and voicing loud frustrated grunts and baby noises whenever you didn’t get what you wanted. Always letting me know (a.k.a screaming) when you needed your diaper changed. What you wanted, you were going to get!!
It wasn’t until about six months that Cali began to notice you. But don’t worry, you didn’t mind. You were patient and somehow displayed unexplained sisterly love that must have resonated with Cali. Before you even came into our world, I knew unquestionably you and Cali would be the best of friends. And guess what…y’all are!!
Remember above me saying how apparent your strong will and independent spirit was even from the beginning. Well we were right. Along with crawling early on, you were determined to walk early, talk early, jump early, and most recently be potty trained in a matter of two days. This is no thanks to me. In fact as far as the potty training goes, I decided a couple of months ago to try. It was a D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R!!! Day two I threw in the towel. Not even remotely close to being trained. But then just a few weeks ago, you woke up one morning and told me you didn’t want to wear diapers anymore. And that was that. Finished and potty trained. Independent, determined…I think so!
Last night was a sweet moment for your dad and me. As usual, you and Cali were taking a nightly bath. Time was up and the water was draining. As the two of us stood and waited, we couldn’t help but smile. A smile that generated from the heart. One of those smiles that shows up without even knowing when it showed up. You and Cali were being like any other little girls laughing and giggling, playing and teasing. But in that moment something stronger than the happiness of little girls playing resonated within our hearts. It was sisterly love. You have so many qualities and attributes which make up who you are. Love is not the least of them. You love Cali from deep within your heart. And she loves you I think more than any of us will know.
And your spunk!!! Just yesterday a great friend of mine visited. Her name is Jess and we played college volleyball together. Jess said, “Ava, you are sassy.” Your reply was, “I NOT sassy! I’m Ava!” Well there you go sass-a-phras:) No need to say more.
We can only imagine what great things are in store for your future. Great things because of who you are and what you will do. Sure you weren’t the easiest baby, and sure you definitely show some sass and strong will (a.k.a. stubborness), but these things will bode well for you in the future. I have a feeling you will be someone who…
1. Knows who they are where they come from.
2. Will be outgoing and make a name for herself among her friends.
3. Will be her sister’s biggest advocate.
4. Will continue to add to the love and good spirit in our home.
5. Will paint her room hot orange one day and then come downstairs to tell her family she has a big surprise for us!
5. Will show kindness and empathy to her friends and family.
6. Will get the car of her choice at sixteen because she has managed to earn and save enough money to buy it herself.
6. Will graduate from high school and make it to the college of her choice.
7. Will fall in love and have a family of her own.
8. And most of all will be the girl who we love unconditionally and will cherish for eternity.
We love you Ava. Thanks for choosing us as your family!!
Mom and Dad
(1st day of dance class…you were on cloud 9!!!)