I don't know if you know this, but you've healed me more than once. Your daddy used to joke that people would call you "Dr Quinn Medicine Woman" if we named you Quinn. I guess the shoe fits. When I struggle or hurt, particularly last summer when I struggled and hurt a lot, I would sit next to your crib and watch you sleep. In all the chaos of our lives, in all the darkness I felt, in all the screaming from John and tantrums from Carly, I sat and watched you and felt the presence of God. You healed me on those days, you made it so I could keep going just a little longer. When you were a newborn I joked that you were "my sanity". Turns out is was more than a little true.
Quinn, you are the sweetest thing I've ever known. You have a heavenly disposition. You are always squealing and laughing and smiling. Though, you are reserved for strangers and cameras. You are go-go-go, climbing and getting into things and exploring. You love kisses and clapping. You love love love "dada!" Your face scrunches when you smile and your hair is so soft, I still love to bury my face in it.
I'll never be able to put into words exactly what you are, how you are. So I hope I never forget.
If Quinn is my sanity, you are my insanity. You have this piercing scream not even a mother could love. You are needy and whiny. Me and daddy always joke that Quinny is sugar, Carly is spice, and you are red pepper flakes. But my boy, you've got these ears I love to nibble. And when I say "kiss", you wrap your little sausage arms around my head and plant a big open-mouthed juicy one right on me. And when you are happy, you are SO happy. You have this little nerdy chuckle I hope you keep forever. You love to play, you love to laugh, you love to wrestle, you love to be loved.
John, you're such a different creature from your sisters, and because of that you've thrown me for a loop more than once. You've taught me to be my very best self, and you've shown me how I can be my very worst self. You have challenged me, and that must be why I love you so. You have a most special place in my heart.
You are a good boy, John. Such a stinking good boy.
My sweet babies,
You hear a lot of mothers say that their first child makes them a mother, and their second child makes them even more so. This could not be more true for me and you. You have taught me a greater selflessness than I knew I was capable of; a greater love than I knew I had capacity for. As I have struggled for you, I have a greater understanding of who I am and of God's love for all of us.
My babies, you love each other. When John got his little surgery, he was out for the count on the first day, just sitting lethargically and in pain. Quinn looked like a lost puppy. She looked at you, John, wondering when you were going to join her. It broke my heart, but made my heart soar. For all your differences in personality, for all the times you make each other scream, steal each other's toys, and slam each others heads in the door, you two just love each other. And I love that. I call you the dynamic duo, and you most certainly are.
In the last year I have asked countless times why you both came at once. But now, a year later, I can't imagine it any other away. I guess that is why they say hindsight is 20/20.
This year hasn't only been a big one for the babies and me and daddy, and for you as well. You have one year of big sisterhood under your belt and I dare say you have succeeded beyond anything I could have expected. The way you love "your babies", and the way they love you is just about more than I can take. Not to say its perfect. There is screaming and pushing and tackling (though, that is often done in love) and fighting over toys. But there is a whole lot more laughing and playing and bouncing and sharing. The other day I was in the kitchen and I heard John giggling. I peeked around the corner to find him at the closed bathroom door. He would stick his fingers through the crack, and you would grab them and push them back out. Then I saw your little fingers come out, and he grabbed them, giggling all the while. It was the sweetest scene. You have recently started calling Quinn "my best friend" and you randomly tackle John with hugs and kisses and say "I gave John kisses because I love him!" You are so good to them.
You have such a good heart. You love being helpful. You take pride in your goodness, your love for your babies, and in big sisterhood. I'm repetitive when I say this, but I'm so grateful they have you and you have them. The three of you are the best of friends.
Happy one year of big sisterhood, sweet girl. You survived it along with the rest of us.
Daddy and I could do a lot of things if we didn't have you all around. We could go to dinner and movies, we could travel, we could keep our home clean and even sleep all night long. We'd never step on smashed banana or find chewed up crackers on our clothes. We could have quite the life.
But we'd never get little soggy kisses. We'd never have chubby fingers shoved in our mouths and exhausted little faces buried in our shoulders. We'd never hear baby giggles. We'd never have tickle fights. We'd never smell you fresh from heaven. We'd never witness first smiles, cheer on first steps, or encourage first words.
You are our greatest adventure.
We love you.
We love you.
We love you.