Dear Aria

Dear Aria,

At this time – 8:03AM – 6 months ago, you were born. Happy half-year. 6 months is both a long time and a very short amount of time in your perspective of the world that you know today. In the grand scheme of things, it’s short in the sense that we hope that you’ll grow old and happy, and find someone that treats you with the same respect that you demand of yourself. You’ve barely even scratched the surface of life – but here we are – celebrating the milestone you’ve completed. On the other hand, it’s a long time in the sense that we have been through more with you in the last 6 months than we have in the last 14 years together… Or at least it feels that way. We like to think that we’re good parents – we do everything in our power to make sure that you’re as happy and safe as can be, and at the same time, we’re also starting to believe that you like to test that.

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In the last 6 months, you’ve tested our patience, our love, our mental and physical capacity to function on as little sleep as possible, our strength as a family, our stress, and just about every other emotion we know – you’ve tested it all. One of the most important things you’ve shown us is how strong Mom and I can be together – and that is significant. It’s significant because it has the power to make us question how strong one half can be without the other, and it can break us down very quickly if we let it. Thank you for showing us the importance of togetherness and the work it takes to be a good parent and partner. You’ve shown us how much weight we can hold when the string is thinning. There have been nights where we’ve both collapsed on the bed after you’ve fallen asleep and muttered “we did it” while preparing for the next round of whatever you decide to throw at us. Thank you for making the experience rewarding and worth working for.

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Thank you for showing us how great it is to dance together again. We sometimes find ourselves in the endless circle of ‘you clean the toilets, I’ll clean the sinks. You cook dinner, I’ll wash the dishes. You rub my back, I’ll rub yours.” I won’t be the one to always change your diapers, and Mom won’t be the one to always rock you to sleep. At the end of the day, you will always find Mom and I there to support you together, for everything. We will always be willing to dance with you – no matter the dance, no matter the time.

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We’re more than ecstatic that you’re a part of our lives, but more importantly – we’re actually just a part of yours. Thank you for teaching us discovery again – an ideal that we’ve carelessly left behind in our youth. We will help guide you and help craft your imagination. We’ll delve into your world and play in it the way you want to. We want to turn your intangible sounds into physical feedback and emotion. The tools and weapons required to walk through the dark and dangerous dungeons – we will equip you with and meet you at the end. We are the sole providers of your experience and we swear to fight anything and anyone that tries to hold us back from giving that to you. You are as much a part of our lives as we are yours and when you giggle in your sleep, we can’t help but wonder what kind of dream you’re having, but we know everything that we’ve done up until this point has been right.

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We hope that the next 6 months is as amazing for you as the last 6 months have been for us. We hope that you become a strong, independent, and respectful person – no matter how small you are. Thank you for being one of the best things that has ever happened to us and for filling the gap we never knew we had. You are the reason we try to better ourselves each day and the only person we want to make proud. You’ll get kisses from us at 6 months whether you like it or not, and you’ll get kisses from us at 18 whether you like it or not.

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And thank you Diana. Thank you for being Aria’s mom and thank you for being our superhero. Any husband that denies that they are also another child to their wife is a liar. The amount of strength it takes to care for a grown man and a needy baby is beyond Superman’s. When I need to know where my lucky teal underwear is, I need to know now and when Aria needs to eat, she needs to eat now. We both want it now and somehow, you can do both. Now. Thank you for shouldering the both of us and for having the energy each day to smile. Thank you for having an overdrive button that never runs out whenever I’m struggling to fix mine. Thank you for letting me join you on this journey – I’ll be right beside you with my lucky underwear the rest of the way. Here’s to more milestones and adventures with Aria. We love you!

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