A love letter to welcome our first baby granddaughter

img_4311Dear Baby Girl,

I feel like I've been waiting for you my entire life.

Our first born son, your daddy, will soon become an incredible father. Your mommy has been nurturing you for the last eight months with good nutrition, prenatal care and gentle strokes of pure love. The circle of life continues just like it always has. And always will.

You will arrive in about six weeks and we will all be waiting with open arms to welcome you into this world.

I can't wait to kiss your head.

The head of a newborn is the sweetest smelling place on the planet. When I hold you, you will wrap your tiny fingers around one of mine and I won't let go until you do.

How blessed you will be to have two loving, kind and caring parents, four devoted grandparents and the best Aunt and Uncle right around the corner. Your home will be full of books, healthy food and a life full of bike rides, Cubs games, trips to Lincoln Park Zoo, world travel and a deep respect for planet Earth.

There will be howling laughter, magic tricks, towering Christmas trees, your cat Riggins to snuggle with and arms to hold you tight and make everything feel better. Education is a priority in our family so you will do your homework and always try your best. I'll help you study for your spelling tests, learn the capitals of the fifty states and memorize your multiplication tables. I promise to make it fun!

When you walk into a room, people will be genuinely happy to see you and you will feel safe, cherished and loved. Every child just wants someone to be glad to see them. You will be greeted with hugs and kisses. Always.

I won't be the kind of grandmother to bury you with things. Children seem to find just as much delight in tapping a cardboard box with a wooden spoon. Too many toys dull a child's creativity and brain. We will make up our own games and put on skits with costumes we dig out of closets and old trunks.

No, I'll be the kind of grandmother that will hold your hand and take you for long walks. We will pick up colorful leaves and acorns in the fall and watch trees bud in the spring. I imagine us catching tadpoles in the ponds and watching them turn into frogs in a glass bowl, then letting them go.

We will melt snowflakes on our tongues and feed the cardinals in the winter. I'll take you to the Art Institute of Chicago and teach you about modern art and Impressionism. An easel, blank canvas and colorful paints will fill a rainy afternoon with your own masterpiece to proudly hang on your bedroom wall.

Let's make boats out of sticks and leaves and sail them down the Fox River. We will listen for the majestic sound of Sandhill cranes migrating in the spring and fall and keep a hummingbird feeder filled with sugar water and watch their wings flutter as they land.

We will smell fragrant flowers and plant an herb garden in the summer. After a spring rain we will rescue worms on the driveway. We will never kill a spider because of "Charlotte's Web." Instead we will gently pick them up in a tissue and put them safely back outside. Baking Christmas cookies with matching aprons and spilling flour all over the kitchen floor will be our December tradition.

Tea parties, reading hundreds of books over and over again and making wishes on brilliant stars will occupy our hours spent together. I have a recipe for Green Eggs and Ham so we will whip that up after we read Dr. Seuss in a hammock.

Won't it be fun to build sand castles at the beach and swim like mermaids in the pool! Of course I'll watch you do a Superman dive. If your mom says it's okay, (well maybe I won't ask) we will have Happy Meals at McDonalds and I'll give you my prize.

When you were born,

you cried and the world rejoiced.

Live your life in such a way

so that when you die,

the world cries and you rejoice.


Native American Proverb

You never have to worry that when we are together I'll be absorbed by a smartphone. YOU will have my undivided attention at all times.

I hope you can trust me to hear all of your secrets, dreams and can confide in me when you have worries, doubts or fears. Call me anytime, anywhere, anyplace and I'll be there.  You can count on that.

I won't judge you or criticize you.  I'll always be in your corner. You have my word.

Please be tolerant of people that are different than you. That's what makes our world so interesting and vital. Everyone has good in them so take the time to seek that, even if it's not always easy.

Be kind.  Say you are sorry and mean it.  Show gratitude for life's bountiful gifts. Open doors for people. Don't litter. Write thank you notes. Show up on time. Look people in the eye. Spend money on travel and experiences, not things. Keep a sense of humor at all times. Having a sense of humor is man's best trait.

Adopt pets from animal shelters. Always keep your passport up to date. You don't want to miss that last minute trip to Italy. Take chances. Make many mistakes and learn from them. Forgive people that hurt you. Wear good shoes. Master a firm handshake. Spend more time outside than inside. Don't take the moving sidewalk, walk.  Smile.

Never take your health for granted. Cultivate lifelong friendships. Learn a foreign language. Volunteer. Be loyal. Buy lunch for a homeless person. Vote. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Don't complain. Please love the Blackhawks. Wait a minute, of course you will love the Blackhawks because you're my granddaughter.

Seek out things that you enjoy doing to keep learning and growing throughout your life. Whether it's swimming, playing the flute, tap dancing, cooking, writing poems or horseback riding, enrich your life with those things that make your heart sing.

There are no guarantees in life. There will be disappointments, sadness and grief. Your family is strong and will be there for you to soften the blows, pick you back up, help you stand tall and carry on. You will never be alone. When you cry, I will dry your tears.

Sweet baby girl.  I am all yours. I love you so much already and can't wait to hold you, look into your eyes and rejoice in your birth. Pardon me when I shed tears of joy for I'm a sentimental soul.

With love always,


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