Jessica Ranae

Dear Jessica,
I haven’t written you a letter here lately because some times all the mushy things I like to say to you are better written by hand and put in your box of special things I’m keeping for you. Like that duck you made out of your hand prints and the paper plate – I’m keeping that because you showed everyone who would look at it that you made something, with your hands. Literally. And I’ll always love that memory – your face and your giggle when each and every person said something like, wow or oooh thats cool. And especially your dad – when he made the biggest deal of all. Out of a paper plate and construction paper. It was like you were showing him a diploma from Harvard. Or any college really, we’re not picky.
I think to myself every month, THIS is my favorite time with Jessica. And then another month rolls around and I think, no this is the best. It just keeps getting better with you. You were an extremely easy baby, you hardly cried and ate well. You smiled and slept through the night right away. And as far as me being bent out of shape, I never really got there when you were an infant. I had time to do the laundry, make dinner and even read. You were a gem and you just keep getting better.
You’re in love with our friends, which is right up there with being in love with Elmo. And our friends think you’re pretty cute, too. Not that you have to be told that. You’re well aware of their affection which makes it even better. You’re such a lover, a social butterfly, you’re fears are about as scarce as your the size of your bottom. You’re outgoing and I’d like to say that comes from your dad, which it does, but I think it also comes from me. And I like that I can see such a great personality mix already.
We went to the beach yesterday and all you wanted to do was go swimming in the freezing water – or run up and down the beach. Both of which were making it hard for me to get a tan but watching you figure out that the water keeps coming back to the shore with every wave and seeing you discover how sand falls made me remember being 5 in Texas and wanting to know how worms crawled and why flowers were so pretty.
You’re vocabulary is growing daily and we have to be extra careful what we say within your earshot because you repeat it. All of it. So we’ve been saying things like “Righteous!”, “Totally bodacious!”, “oh man!”, and “Uh-Oh Spaghettios!”. We’re bringing the 80’s back into our house one word at a time. And with dance moves.
We dance every day – and not because it’s like, oh we should dance now. It’s more like – man, what is our day missing? Oh, thats right – music! All I have to do is turn it on and you’re gone flailing about the house, shakin’ it and lip-singing. And then you twist my arm into it and who can resist a dance invitation from you? Not me. So we spend a good amount of time dancing every day, even in the car and the driveway. You and me, we can’t get enough of it. We’re like this with the radio. And iTunes.
You’ve been in training for roller coasters since you proved that you wouldn’t throw up if we put you up side down. So pretty much since you like 4 months old. You like being thrown around and swung. I’m measuring your height on your wall to see how you grow but also to keep of track of the exact moment you’re big enough to go on a roller coaster with me. And when that happens, we’re dropping everything, climbing into the car and getting to Cedar Point as fast as we can. Period. Oddly enough your dad does not like roller coasters at all. Which is something I knew before we got married, but it was a sacrifice I was willing to make to have him be the father of my children. Good thing too, because seeing him be a dad is up to par with seeing him for the first time and just knowing I had to love him. He’s that good. You’re a very lucky girl. We both are.
I used to end all these letters with a cute sentiment about how you’re the breath of heaven, which I still think you are – but you’re so much more than that now. You’re Jessica. You are 2 1/2 years of joy rolled up into a person who is bursting at the seems – who wants to try it, eat it, do it, see it. You’re me and you’re Aaron – and you’re perfect.
I love you, Jessa.

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