Today is Mother’s Day (or at least it was when I started writing this letter), the perfect day for me to tell you how much I love being your Mother.

I got the best Mother’s Day gift ever on Friday; after a month of not being able to lift or carry you because of the surgery, the doctor finally gave me permission to start using my arm, which means I can take care of you all by myself again. It is so nice to finally be able to hold you, and take care of you by myself!

But we did find ways to snuggle this past month. I spent a lot of time sitting on the floor so you could come up and hug me whenever you wanted. It amazes me how you seemed to instinctively understand that you needed to be gentle with me.¬†You are so perceptive, and very, very sweet. You even say “awwwww…” and pat my shoulder as you hug me. It’s the cutest thing.

Several friends came and helped around the house. and helped me keep an eye on you each day while Daddy was at school. I’m so thankful for their help. You enjoyed the company (audience), and it eased my mind to know that they were available to lift you to the high chair, or changing table, or into your crib – and to get you out of trouble as well – you have entered a climbing phase. At least I hope it’s a phase, but I suspect you are just going to become progressively more adventurous. And truthfully, that’s one of the things I love most about you – your sense of adventure – even when you give me a little heart attack while you’re perched on the edge of a piece of furniture.


One of your favorite words is “THIS.” You walk around the house, or even stores when we go out, and hold up random objects proclaiming, proudly and emphatically, “THIS!” After a few weeks of “this,” I nearly fell out of my chair laughing, but proud, when you pointed at something and said “THAT!”


Most of the time when I look at you I see a beautiful little girl, but every once in a while, I see the baby you used to be. The way you hold your feet in the air while you’re laying on your back, or the way you cuddle with me both can take me back to several months ago. I miss that baby, but I am so proud of the little girl that you are becoming. You are so smart, you have an amazing attention span, you are perceptive, and gentle, and sweet, and loving, and friendly. These are all qualities that will serve you well as you get older. I can’t wait to watch you as you develop from a little girl into a young woman. But for today, it’s those snuggles that I enjoy the most.

I love you so much.



Read more Letters to Gem.

Judy Schwartz Haley


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