Dear Nathaniel and Willa,

I'll make this quick. Not because I don’t have tons to say, but because one of the biggest changes that's come with motherhood is a wildly different way of experiencing time. My days (and my brain) are never expansive or meandering anymore. Everything has a more staccato rhythm — thoughts and conversations have to tumble out in bursts whenever they can grab some air.

Please don't think I'm complaining. I read somewhere that parenthood makes one feel like a house that's undergone a gut renovation. Your facade and bones are still there, but internally, you've been completely rearranged. This describes my experience of being your mother perfectly, and — while it definitely hasn't been easy — I'm certain that the house I am now is an upgrade.

Right now, because you're both so little, I think you see me as a pile of softness. A safe harbor, a morning cuddle, the embodiment of comfort. Which is just as it should be. But as you grow older, I hope that you'll also sense the deep well of strength that powers all that softness.

Because being your mom has required an incredible amount of grit — an ability to show up and hang in there, again and again, whether it's through contractions, countless sleepless nights, or the day-to-day scramble of caregiving while making a living and a life. Your dad and I have worked harder, and more relentlessly, at being your parents than at anything else. It's made me fall in love with him even more deeply. And feel more sure of my own self-worth and place in the world.

Of course, this is just the very beginning. When your dad and I sneak into your rooms at night to watch you sleep, our hearts ache at the thought that the world won’t let you stay as open and trusting and wildly confident as you are now. We have no idea what kinds of challenges will be thrown our way, individually and as a family, but we’re certain that they’ll come.

So here is my hope: that I’ll be able to give you the same gift of strength that you’ve given me. That the capability, humility, empathy and endurance that motherhood has honed in me will continue to grow. And that, somehow, it will spill over and inform the way you move about the world.

In the meantime, I promise to always be your safe harbor. And to appreciate this babyhood stage of sweetness and softness with all of my heart. I’m grateful for every millisecond you’ve been in my life, and can’t believe how lucky I am to be by your side as you grow.

I love you both to pieces,

Jasmine Moir Firchau
Vice President, LaunchSquad