Annabel is my shadow. Wherever I am, so is she. If I’m on the couch under a blanket, she’s under it with me. If I try to nap, she climbs into bed with me. Trying to leave the house without her is almost impossible. She even started calling out for me in the middle of the night (Mike is normally her go-to for that because he wakes up instantly). We can push each other’s buttons like no one else since we are basically two versions of the same person, but our relationship lately has been everything I always hoped for.

me and my bestie (and sometimes beastie)

Just in time for everything to change.

“Mama, if I don’t like the baby, can he go back in your belly?”

She’s starting to realize things are going to change, too.

“Mama, after my brother is here will you still read me stories?”

I assure her that I’ll read her stories, take her places, braid her hair – everything we do together now, we’ll still do. We’ll just have someone else along for the ride.

me and my lady

“Mama, can I take a picture with just you?”

I turn my camera on and snap away, and I promise her that we’ll always take lots of pictures. And I tell her that I’ll take lots of pictures of her and her brother, too.

“Mama, I can do it myself.”

We went to the park and she ran off confidently to play with her friends. As I walked towards a bench I heard a cry of “MAMA!” and looked up to find her running towards me with her arms in the air. She’d slipped and scraped her knees and her hand. Playing with her friends took a back seat to curling up on what’s left of my lap to nurse her wounds.

mama cuddles after injury

“Mama, will you still cuddle me when my brother comes?”

I will cuddle you forever, baby.