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HEY YOU!

Two with Love

Baby's second birthday

Dear Precious Angel Baby Tamia,

First, I want to say HAPPY SECOND BIRTHDAY! You’re getting so big and it’s almost hard to believe you’re no longer my sweet, favorite infant. Now you’re simply my sweet, favorite person! I don’t know if you’ll receive this in time. Aunty is on an airplane many, many miles away and the wifi sucks! – But if your day turns out to be even a small portion of how special you are… I know it was amazing.

I miss you soooo much. I know you can’t see me, but right now I’m stretching my arms as far as they can go… I’m telling everyone on the plane to stretch theirs too! *Okay, that’s a lie* – But I do! You are my little partner in crime! From the day I met you, I knew you were a special baby. You were a crabby, cranky, MEAN little thing, but you stole my heart. You are one of the best people I’ve ever met in my (soon to be) 27 years of life, so NEVER let anyone tell you otherwise.

At two, you are a super-fast runner. One of the fastest I know. You love pizza, fruit, Facetiming Grandma and Pawpey, laughing, reading books with Mommy (and occasionally Aunty when she’s feeling up to the challenge). You know all of your letter sounds and you’re even starting to recognize restaurant logos! DACCO … BELL! *I blame your Dada for that. *

At two, we’ve shared too many laughs. Too many meals (that I honestly didn’t anticipate sharing). Too many hugs. Too many smooches. Too many tears (both mine and yours). Too many toys. Too much joy.

In the words of your mother, you truly are a pink starburst.

You’re kind and goofy. You’re adventurous and love to learn. You’re a lover and very much a fighter.  Although you drive me crazy, you’ve gotten me through some of the toughest times in my life. Little, tiny, fragile, you. By just being you.

Do you remember the time Aunty came to get you from your crib? You were a tiny, tiny thing then. Aunty had tears in her eyes and told you I was sad. I apologized to you because I felt like I couldn’t be who or what you needed in that moment. I felt like I, as an aunt, and also in that moment, a caregiver – Had failed you.

You looked me deep in my eyes. – This was long before you could even speak, but I felt you had something to say. – And you did. You didn’t express it in words, but instead, actions. You gave me a gentle smile, pulled your tiny arm alllll the way back and slammed it forward all at once. In other words, you smacked the fire out of me!

I couldn’t believe it. You couldn’t have known what you were doing, you were much too small. – But I remember and as crazy as it may sound… It was just what I needed. You are small, but you’ve come with so many life lessons. Some I was prepared for… Others not so much.

What I’m trying to say is, I love you. No number of miles nor oceans between us will ever change that. So be good, but not so good that you miss out. Be strong, but not so strong that you fear being vulnerable. Be kind, but not the kind people take advantage of.

Just continue being you and you will be just fine.

Let's have a conversation! Leave a comment!

What They're Saying

"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy."

Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017
2017-09-08T14:16:02-04:00
"Shawn. I see what you're doing in the IBD community. You're doing phenomenal things! Prayers for your personal journey as well as I know it can't be easy." Felicia Robertson, MD June 23 2017

"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."

 

Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017
2017-09-08T14:21:19-04:00
"You're the best! So glad you joined (the Patient Advisory Council of ImproveCareNow) and I hope we can get to know eachother better! Looking at your blog girl it's amazing. You're a beautiful writer and fighter."   Natalie B, PAC ImproveCareNow, April 29 2017

"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes."

Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017
2017-09-08T14:26:29-04:00
"Chronically Strong is an absolutely beautiful blog filled with information about Ulcerative Colitis, Chronic Bowel Disease and Mental Health just to name a few. (Shawntel) has excellent healthy eating tips as well as a focus on overall wellness and nutrition, and recipes." Leanne, Blogger, Aug. 2 2017

" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."

 

Sara R, Sep. 12 2017
2017-09-12T22:05:16-04:00
" I've never found you to be anything but inspiring. Your honesty is refreshing and I like when people keep it real. Makes me feel it's ok to be human."   Sara R, Sep. 12 2017

Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.

 

Collin, Jan. 9, 2019
2019-01-09T22:11:58-04:00
Though mostly about IBD, this blog covers a wide array of issues.  Shawn covers complex issues, like how her identity as an African American intersects with her IBD.  I am taken aback by the depth of each post! Whether you’re a blogger or an IBDer, her posts are sure to offer tons of inspiration.   Collin, Jan. 9, 2019