Sometimes I feel like a horrible mother.
You have slept in a pack 'n play for all except the first 3 1/2 weeks of your life. You don't have a nursery with pretty paint and decorations, and you might never get one. The counted cross-stitch that I made for you in still in a box. You've never seen it. Your current bedroom often smells of cigarette smoke because the neighbors smoke and it filters into your room...but we can't move you because there's not room for your pack 'n play in the other bedrooms. So your little lungs breathe that junk every single night.
By the time you were five months old you'd slept in 12 different places. You don't have very many toys yet and are bored with the ones you do have, so you often end up playing with things like paper towel rolls and magazines and chewing on your shoes and socks. People say you'd do that anyways, but I'm not sure, since you're my first baby. You're getting a new tooth, and I lost your favorite teether, so now you gnaw on the end tables and the chair legs instead of on a teething ring, since we only have one now and it's not your favorite.
Lane, you had a diaper rash for almost two months. We put every cream we could find on it and it only went away after I finally figured out maybe you were allergic to cinnamon, even cinnamon that you would get through my milk. Just the other day you got another horrible rash, and I think it's because of another spice I ate, although I'm not sure which one. Your little body has some dry patches on it and I can't tell if it's just dry skin or if it's an allergic reaction to something. You're getting that new tooth and I had some teething tablets to help with the pain, but they got recalled so I had to throw them away, and I don't speak enough of the local language to go and buy you something else to help ease the pain.
Baby, sometimes you really, really drive me crazy. I can tell that you're in pain or frustrated, or just exhausted, but all I can think of is how annoyed with you I am and how I just want you to stop whining. I could care less about what's really bothering you: I just want you to stop crying! I'm so, so selfish.
When we have our language lessons and your babysitter comes, I sit in the kitchen with our teacher and listen to you cry after I've left you. You usually have fun after a little while, but sometimes you don't...and I just have to leave you. And sometimes you want to do things that I just can't let you do, like eat dirt and rocks or pet a kitty that's hissing at you, and you get so mad at me when I make you stop.
Lane, you will probably never have roots like your daddy and I have, because we're raising you far, far away from all of your family. You might not get to see your grandparents more than once every couple of years, if that often. It breaks my heart that you already recognize the sounds of skype and know that you'll get to see your grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins through it. You probably won't even get to meet your cousin Maddox until you're both talking.
I'm so sorry that I'm so far from perfect for you. I'm sorry when I make mistakes and when I just don't care what you want or need because I'm too focused on myself. I'm sorry that you're going to be so far from all of your extended family and will know them better through a computer screen than you will in real life. I'm sorry for the times I'll disappoint you and the times I'll be too harsh on you, expecting you to be more grown up than you are. And I'm sorry that you won't have a better role model than me as to what a mother and a woman is supposed to be. Please, look to Jesus to fulfill you and teach you and help you, because he'll do a perfect job when I only let you down.
I love you,