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May 8, 2016

Dear Eva.

Dear Eva,

Today is my second Mother's Day as your stepmom. Thank you.

I wish I could have ten thousand more Mother's Days with you.

Lately it feels like the days are blurring together. I was told it would be this way.

You have no idea how fast it will go.

I wasn't told how hard it would be: to feel all of the feelings for you, for life with you, for your future, every single day. Joy, sadness, exhaustion, confusion, fear. To feel them at the same time several times a day. To feel like I've been your stepmom forever. To have it feel effortless and impossible at the same time. To feel lost. To feel happy to the point of tears. To feel exhausted to the point of tears. Lots of tears in the bathroom.

Every day, more and more, I see you becoming yourself. You have opinions and a voice and every time you use it, really use it, I want to stand on a chair and clap and scream, "This! You must always remember to do this, to use your voice, when you're five and fifteen and fifty-five. The world will do everything to silence you. You must listen to yourself above all else and you've got to learn this now." 

I will never stop asking you how things make you feel. It is the most basic and exhausting question. It look me too long to figure this out and I do not want that road for you. But should that be your road we will navigate it together. 

Three weeks ago you turned five. You'll be driving next month. This is how it feels-like I cannot keep up. We just registered you for Kindergarten. I sat at a large round table covered by a red plastic tablecloth scattered with crayons and coloring sheets and it didn't feel real. To be looking at papers that say, "Kindergarten Supply List." We filled out one dozen forms and watched you go into another room with one of the administrators for mandatory testing. You didn't even look back. You have no fear. This is what I want. This is what I dread.

It is devastating and amazing because it all goes so fast.

You are magic, Eva.

The way you say, "That's a problem" whether it's because we're out of milk or because the friggin' cat won't stop chasing you. It's hilarious and sweet and makes you sound forty years old.

The way you said, "Happy Mother's Day!!!" to me ten times the past few days.

The way you sometimes yell, "Rhiannon!!!" when you wake up from your nap and want me to come get you.

The way you ask questions, lots of questions. I hope you are always this curious.

The way you use your voice.

Eva, thank you for the past two years, for every moment. I couldn't imagine life as a mom could be this good. This scary. This exhausting. This fun. This full. Life with you is all of these things ten thousand times over.

You make everything brighter.
You make everything better.

Being a mom is hard. It is the biggest job. It is an honor.

I love you forever.

Love,
Rhi

p.s. Last year's letter to Eva.

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