To My Ruby

Letter To My Baby…

I’m tired and she’s tired. And she’s been weeping with frustration, her face a smudge of red cheeks and snotty trails.

I reach for her and she swats at me and doesn’t want the comfort I know she wants.

I gently take her hands and pull her up. Her tender self all frustration and sweat melting into me. I cup her with my arms and my words and slowly stroke those damp curls back from her cheeks.

I’ve got deadlines and to-do lists and no clue what to make for dinner. There is one quiet window before Don comes home and had hoped for a ten minute nap. But she’s inconsolable for reasons she can’t put into 18 month old words yet and I’m on my knees reaching for her.

I will always be there, baby.

She’s in my arms and slowly beginning to stroke my shirt like it’s her blanket. Her curls are warm and sweaty and that pudgy baby cheek fits just under my chin.

I will always be there.

I dance with her slowly – the rock and roll of motherhood – and I know this is a promise I can stake my life on.

I will always be there.

When you forget your lunch. When you are sheep number 5 in the Christmas play. When you’re frustrated in Hebrew School because Hebrew simply doesn’t make sense to you. When you get that bad hair cut. When you think you want to be a beauty queen, when you swear off fashion altogether.

I will be there..

When the mean girls make you want to shrivel inside your skin. When a teacher intimidates you. When you intimidate the teachers. When you think you can sing and try out for a musical, when you get laughed at and people point fingers at your hair and your shoes and your too wide of hips.

My darling, I will be there.

When that boy breaks your heart and you’re stranded at a college miles away, I will be there. When the internship you thought was part of your calling falls through. When a friend gets sick. When the car crashes. When you have more long distance charges than you thought possible. When you run out of gas, chocolate chip cookies and faith.

I will be there.

When you say your “I dos,” when you you start your happily ever afters, when none of it quite feels like you thought it would.  When you don’t know how to pick a mattress, when the sofa is in the wrong place, when you regret what feels like signing your life away to someone else. When you keep on keeping on. When you remember how to say sorry. When you need a safe place to say how cliche you feel all “barefoot and pregnant” I will so be there.

When the baby won’t sleep and the world’s on fire with sleep exhaustion.

Sweetheart, I will be there.

When your husband’s out of work. When you’re down to one car and have moved in with his in-laws. When your job threatens to break your heart. When toddlers make you question your sanity. When you realize that you’ve made the worst mistake a woman can make. When you’ve run out of tears and still the tears keeping coming.

I will be there.

When you move and move and relocate again. When you pack boxes and dreams and hope. When your life is a world of duct tape and questions. I will still be there.

And when your home is warm and your heart is full. When you’re at peace. When you need someone to share the joy, to watch the kids, to admire the dimples. When you want to remember that old recipe for spaghetti sauce or french onion soup, when you still can’t pick a sofa, when you wish you’d never said yes to the dog.

When you don’t know where you’re going. When you’re the most sure of yourself you’ve ever been. When you’re holding onto faith with just your fingernails.

Ruby, always I will be there. One hundred different ways I will come when you call.

I will rock and roll you with my love and the promise that I will help you get back on your feet. I will hold your hand. I will rejoice. I will babysit. I will pass the tissues. I will wash the dishes.

I will be there.

Tonight.

Tomorrow.

And the day after. And after.

And then some.

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