A handful of years ago, my mother whispered in my ear, “You are exactly what I always wanted,” as I hugged her goodnight. I don’t know if she knew it at the time, but it was exactly what I needed to hear. Maybe she needed me to hear it, too. Since her passing, I’ve kept those words near and dear to me. They have carried me through moments big and small, joyful and painful. They’ve stuck with me, but I never truly understood the feeling behind them until my daughter was born.
The first moment I held her in my arms, it hit me. The feeling was overwhelming. She was exactly what I always wanted.
I always wanted to be a mother. It was the one constant in my life that I never questioned. And Finley made me the mother that I always wanted to become. She is the child that I had always dreamed of.
She is a wildly amazing combination of two people in love.
While 99.3% of the comments I receive about my daughter are how she looks exactly like her father, I can see us both. And my husband can see us both. Because the pieces that make up a child are more than just a parent’s looks. She contains pieces of us in her personality, in her actions and reactions, in the way she expresses herself and most definitely in her sweet dance moves. When it comes to looks, Finley is her daddy’s mini. But in the way her face conforms to everything and anything she is thinking, she is her mama. And her spunky little personality is a true combination of us both. To see a child made perfectly from me and the person that I fell so deeply in love with that I was willing to share his last name, is the greatest gift I’ve ever experienced.
She will conquer mountains.
The girl is strong-willed, determined and courageous (except when it comes to our Amazon Alexa, because that’s apparently terrifying to her). And I have no doubt that if we continue to foster her drive, she will conquer mountains someday. And then, she will dance upon them.
She has a heart of gold.
When she leaves daycare at the end of the day, she makes sure to wave and say “bye bye” to every child still in the room. She has got the Minnesota goodbye down! She takes daily snuggle breaks – whether it’s with her family, her friends or her stuffed animals. Pretty sure if we all took random snuggle breaks throughout the day, we would be much happier people. And her love for dogs is truly contagious. The quote, “whoever said diamonds are a girl’s best friend, never owned a dog,” is 100 percent true and Finley is going to live it out loud. Not a morning goes by without her kissing her puppy hello nor a night that she doesn’t kiss her goodnight. She waves to every dog she sees, and at 15 months, is already vocal about her feelings toward animal cruelty. I’m blown away by her compassion. It’s beautiful and inspiring.
She’s the funniest person I know.
She can barely talk, and yet she’s hilarious. And perfectly sarcastic. I know… that’s probably not a good thing, but I can’t help but laugh when she responds to us in sign language sarcasm. Seriously, that takes talent. Her facial expressions are on point. Her response to “what does the fox say?” is “Ring-ding-ding” combined with a little dance. And any kid that thinks it’s hilarious to belly bump their pregnant mama is a keeper in my book. I swear I didn’t even teach her this, she just did it. To which we both broke out in a fit of laughter, making it even funnier.
I’m in awe of this kid. Every day, I’m amazed by her. And I could gush about her every minute of every day. I always knew I wanted to be a mother. But I never anticipated how much my heart would grow when my baby was born, how consumed by my child I would be, or how truly beautiful motherhood is.
I never fully understood what my mom meant when she whispered in my ear that I was exactly what she wanted until Finley entered this world and changed mine forever.