As one of their February activities, J’s daycare asked the parents to write a valentine love letter to their kids, which will be read to the child by a guide during circle time. For posterity, here’s mine:

Dearest J,

There are so many thing I love about you. I love the first sleepy smile of the day and the way you rest your head on my shoulder when I pick you up to start the day. I love the way you giggle when you get excited and the way you kick one leg up when you nurse. You are a determined, fearless, beautiful, smart girl who I can already see is ready to take on the world and chase her desires. I love how when you want something you don’t give up trying to get it (even when it’s that handful of dirt dad so desperately wants you not to eat!) I love it when we play the step step game and your little feet kick like you are tap dancing, and I love the enormous smile you get on your face when you step step. I love how when we say good night to the baby in the mirror every night, you look around for dad even if he’s not home, and the way you crane your neck at the sound of his voice. I love watching you explore the world. You are so ready to try anything and everything, whether it’s food like the lemon you chewed on the other day or swimming lessons in a crowded pool or sitting with your grandpa only 5 minutes after meeting him. When you were born my life changed further and faster than I ever thought possible. But even through those first exhausting, terrifying weeks, I knew that having you was exactly how I was meant to be. I can’t imagine that I will ever feel anything but joy that you are part of my life, that you are exactly who you are. Your father and I are the luckiest people in the world to have had you for a daughter. I love watching you grow and change and learn. I love being your mommy. Most of all, I love you.