My daughter turns 10 years old today. A decade of my life has passed as I have watched this amazing, miraculous being come into this world and make her way. I remember the day we knew she was present with us, the night I thought I was losing her, the bliss I felt during my pregnancy, talking to her while I took baths and feeling her kick me when I would speak to her in a certain way. I remember the fear I felt during labor and the look her dad and I shared when they could not find her heartbeat for what must have been seconds, but felt eternal, during her delivery. I also remember the peace and wholeness I felt as I held her in my arms for the first time. Eye to eye with my baby girl. I knew she would change me forever.
My girl is quirky. And I love that about her. She’s brutally honest and heavy handed with any blue eye shadow she can get her hands on. She has an aversion to utensils. She doesn’t like for her clothes to match. She wears pajamas during the day. She has an amazing vocabulary and a wicked sense of humor. Her sparkling brown eyes light up my world. She is a loving sister and friend. She is my teacher. She gives me hope. I respect and adore her.
Her childhood is a blur of happy memories to me. Reminding myself to live and absorb every minute, I struggled to get through the chronic sleep deprivation, the loneliness of no longer working outside of the house and fulfilling the constant needs of a young child. As heavy as it felt then, I look back with absolute joy, seeing her smiling face, hearing the music that filled the house, and feeling the peace of having her rest in my arms or snuggled up safe in bed.
Words could never express the gratitude I feel for these 10 years. Loving a child, completely and unconditionally, is a magnificent spiritual expedition. Feeling the depths of this absolute love and unguarded vulnerability has changed me into someone a little more courageous and bold and, I would like to think, possibly a bit more wise. Being allowed to experience this love anew everyday, a chance to be a better parent every day helps me forgive myself for the ways I know I fall short and gives me another chance. Forgiveness and redemption, over and over…
So, happy birthday to the girl who has brought so much meaning and joy to my life. I hope I can be all that you need me to be to give YOU the roots to continue to grow into all that you are intended to be.
I love you and I will always love you, no matter what.
Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl!!!
All my love,