There was a time in my life when I thought I never wanted children.  I was young and had so many things I wanted to do with my life that I didn’t want children getting in the way of that.

As I got older, my priorities changed like they do for many people.  I got married, and realized I wanted children, just not with the person I married.  I didn’t believe that he would be a good father.  I got divorced (for other reasons) and I knew then, more than ever, that I did want children.

I had a stable, great career and one day, out of nowhere, I met the man I had been searching for my entire life.  I met your daddy.

I fell in love.  A love that I had never experienced before.  A love that I couldn’t deny, nor did I want to.  Then we found out about you.  You, nothing more than a speck on the ultrasound.  You were coming and I was terrified and overjoyed.

I carried you around for nine months, knowing you were safe inside of me.

Then you were here.  I was holding you, looking into your eyes, and I experienced another kind of love that I had never experienced before.  A love that became the fiercest I have ever known.  A love that would make me do anything to protect it.  A love that made myself irrelevant.

No matter what you did; what time you cried day or night, messy diapers, screaming fits, it didn’t matter.  You are now my reason for everything I do. You’d look at me or curl your tiny fingers around mine and nothing else mattered.

Already now, you don’t need me as much as you once did. You’re off exploring and you’re fascinated with everything it seems, except me.  You’re so ready for life, for your first steps (and your next).  You’ve only just begun and it makes me sad.

I know that as you grow you’ll need me less and less, but I’ll always be here.  I’ll be there when you fall, when you scrape your knee, when you’re so proud you can’t contain it.

Through the ups and downs, I’ll always be here when you need me.  And sometimes even when you don’t.

And when you’re too big, and you don’t need me any more, I’ll remember.

I’ll remember those kicks from inside, those newborn eyes looking up at me, needing me.  I’ll remember those tiny fingers reaching and grasping mine.

There are times with you I’ll remember forever.