Dear Adeline | You Will Always Be There

I woke up this morning with tears in my eyes.

We had the most amazing family day yesterday at the Austin City Limits (ACL) Music Festival.  Today, the tears flow because you weren’t there to expereince it with us... or were you?

ACL is one of your dad's all-time favorite events; he attends every year without fail. When we went two years ago, we were twelve-weeks pregnant with you. We had just told your aunts, uncles, grandparents, and sister about you, and we were basking in the glow of our future. As we sat in our chairs, holding hands, listening to music, we began to wonder what it would be like to attend the next year.  

We talked about logistics.

Would we make it a family day and bring you and your sister with us? 

Would we bring a stroller or carry you?

Would it be too loud for you? 

Where do you change a diaper at a festival?

As we sat there in the middle of the field, I looked around imagining what it would be like to attend a large music festival with a six-month-old and a ten-year-old. We imagined what you’d be like at six months, how you’d react to all the excitement.  I looked forward to experiencing that moment as a family. 

That should have been our experience last year.  

But it was not.

We went, but it was nothing like we’d expected. It was a bit of a disaster.  I was mess, I melted down, I couldn’t handle it, I missed you too much. We’d spent so much time talking about how we’d “do” ACL with you.  It was difficult to be there without you. 

And so as the day approached for this year's event my anxiety began to rise. I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I wasn’t sure if I’d react the same way as I did last year. Although I knew I needed to go, I felt uneasy about the whole thing.   

I went ready and willing to confront whatever the day had in store.  

As we approached the gate, a butterfly landed on your dad and your sister.  Your dad has always associated butterflies with you, and he said, with a smile on his face, “Adeline’s with us today.”  

You were, baby girl, you were.  Just not in the way I would have liked.

It was an amazing day filled with love, joy, and excitement.  It was beautiful.

And yet today (the day after), I’m sad because I missed you. You would have been walking by now, so we would have been chasing you all over the park.  We would have been covering your little ears and slathering on the sunscreen.  We would have watched you color your t-shirt from Austin Kiddy Limits. I missed not being able to do all that with you, Adeline.  I wish with all my heart that I could have seen you run across the grass under the flags at ACL.

I hope you know that you will ALWAYS be a part of every single family event.  You will always be there, even if it’s only within our hearts. 

Miss you, Adeline, miss you so much.