When I fell in love with your dad, I felt the most sure, calm and inner knowing of my life. He was the person I wanted to make up constellations with and drive through the sagebrush, rabbitbrush and cows with. The person I wanted to grow with. I leaned my head on his shoulder and tried not to close my eyes for fear I’d miss something.
We’ve had hard times and easy times, blissful and maddening, but we always know that we are each other’s and we are yours. We choose family, love and joy. It has all led to you—to hearing you giggle, to hearing you call for mama in the night and to making the same sounds for cheese, teeth and shoe. Every step of our lives prepared us to have an Augie shaped space in our hearts and our home that only you could ever fill.
We said we’d get a dog and build a garden when we had a child. I feared the work, the responsibility, the tie to place and I wasn’t sure if it was worth it without you. Then, six-month-old puppy, Louie, came into our lives, over three years ago now, and we agreed to keep him. Soon enough, we knew that he was our family, and we were his. And of course, we had to have Louie for a couple of years before we had you. We needed to build trust between us and go on adventures just for him. We were raising your best friend, your biggest teacher, your charging portal, your “duhduh.” It’s always been for you.
We built a fence. Yes, it was for the dog, but also for you to have a play space that was all your own. Your apple trees, swing and tiny sandbox in a stock trough. A safe yard for you to explore without us, but always with an open window and our voice letting you know we’re here and we love you. It’s always been for you.
We built a garden. Not just a few plants in the ground, but the beautiful vegetable and flower garden of my dreams that took an entire summer to prepare—to dig up the grass, flatten the earth, block the weeds and raise the beds. We built it imagining little bare feet on the pea gravel and little red-stained fingers reaching for tomatoes and strawberries. It’s surreal and familiar to see you doing it in real life. It’s always been for you.
We renovated our house. Built a kitchen that was spacious and bright for you to eat your first foods, learn to cook and help Dad process elk. A calm and simple space for you to grow, learn to crawl, walk and read your favorite books. A dog door that soon became an Augie door so you can trust your body and your judgment as you venture outside on your own. It’s always been for you.
Over a year ago, you came. You’re real, you’re here and you’re more yourself than anyone I’ve ever met. We’ve been preparing for you for quite a while. We’ve waited our whole lives to meet you, little one. It’s always, and in all ways, been for you.