Dear Ava, Jude and Piper,

As long as I can remember I can see the picture memories of you leaning in over me, all three of you scrambling to hold me, your three sets of brown eyes looking out for me. I couldn’t tell you then but your noses scrunched into mine, your soft kisses, your arms wrapped around me-those things were the first notes of your constant song in my life. My first days – they all held moments of light from you. 

I don’t know if you noticed, but the worried wrinkles in Mommy’s brow went away when she saw us together. And the tears she cried for a while? She wiped them away when she watched you play your days away and you reminded her that everything – that I – would be OK in the end.

Hours upon hours of visitors came to help me walk, eat, sing and talk. They taught me with you before me, beside me, behind me… and after they left, you were the ones who kept showing me the things of happy childhoods – the freedom I could earn if I kept trying. You cheered for me and called my name from so many directions that I didn’t know where to look first. And I never knew what it was like to be alone.  

I ask more of you than most kids will have to think about and I’m not sure how to thank you for walking ahead and always checking behind to see if I’m on my way too. You circle back and make sure I keep going even when it slows your pace. From where I stand, our world has been so much fun – full of the things I love, like hanging on your every word, watching you dance, and singing the songs we clap to. I can’t wait for the days we’ll have together that seem so far away now… but they are right on our heels waiting for us to fill them and I’ll need you then too. 

I want you to know that your place, your role, your hand in my life is a gift I didn’t know to ask for, but one I couldn’t do without. Thank you for braving this unknown trail with me. I hope the journey has been good for you – ’cause so far for me, I’ve had the best of times with you.