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Letters to Julia: Toasted Bagels with Cream Cheese


September 6, 2015

Dear Julia,

Today was a full day. We went to church this morning, went shopping, attended a birthday party this afternoon, then came home to a messy house with loads of laundry needing to be done. We opted to play outside with bubbles and sidewalk chalk. The laundry can wait.

After bath time, you brushed your teeth while I brushed your long brown curly hair. Although you’re five years old, you haven’t had a haircut yet – maybe because I know those ringlet curls won’t come back after your first haircut.

I kneeled down next to your bed to tuck you in. As I kissed your forehead, I noticed your face wasn’t as happy as usual, so I asked what was wrong. You said, “My tummy hurts.” I asked, “What would help it feel better?”

“Toasted bagels with cream cheese.”

You didn’t even have to think twice about that. You said you were still hungry even though you ate plenty for dinner. Here’s one of those tough choices that moms face: 1.) Should I say that it’s already past bedtime and you need your rest, so we’ll have bagels for breakfast, or 2.) Should I indulge your polite request this once, and share a special time together with my girl who’s growing up far too quickly?

Toasted bagels with cream cheese it is.

I picked you up and carried you downstairs, passing a pile of dirty laundry along the way.

You sat quietly in your chair at the table while I hurriedly put together the ingredients for your snack in the dark kitchen. We didn’t want to wake up Rachel, so we both tried to keep things quiet.

When the toaster popped your bagel up, I smothered it with cream cheese and placed it on your favorite plate – the one that’s pink and shaped like a heart. I sat down next to you to talk with you as you ate your bagel.

“Julia, I want you to know how proud I am of you. You’re doing such a good job in Kindergarten.” You started Kindergarten 2 weeks ago, and have already earned the admiration of your teacher and all your classmates. “I’m so glad that God gave me you as a daughter. I’m honored to be your mommy.”

You had just stuffed a huge piece of bagel in your mouth, so you didn’t want to talk with food in your mouth, but you looked up at me with big grateful eyes. You held up both hands, and placed your thumbs and index fingers together to make the shape of a heart, then you looked through the heart towards me.

My eyes welled up with tears as you swallowed and said, “I love you SO much, Mommy.”

“I love you, too.”

You reached out to hold my hand. We sat there together in the dark quiet dining room holding hands as you finished your bagel. I’m not sure if we’ve ever shared a moment so sweet, and so sincere. And to think I could have passed that up, because there was laundry to do, or because it was already past bedtime. 

The fact of the matter is that stuff will always try to get in the way of the important things in life. Schedules, task lists, routines, and responsibilities will try to distract from the reason why we are placed here on this earth – to love.

When you were done with your bagel, I picked you up and carried you back to your room. You wrapped your arms tightly around my neck as I carried you up the stairs. You smiled as I laid you down in your bed, “My tummy feels all better now.”

I wiped the cream cheese off your chin and whispered, “Good night, Julia. I love you. I’m proud of you. And I’m so glad you’re mine.”

Moments like these are ones I’ll never forget.

I’m truly so honored to be yours,


Mommy

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