August 13, 2020
Oh my sweet baby, you are NINE! It is so hard for me to believe you are nine. You are my baby, my velcro, my cuddler, my side-kick. Somehow the newborn that never stopped crying is the happiest, most joyful child in the entire world.
Nine years ago, we left for the airport after a phone call came letting us know you would be arriving shortly, three weeks early. We flew nervously to Los Angeles with only our family knowing. You were about to be the biggest surprise for many, many friends.
You came into this world a few minutes after midnight and by two in the morning, we were exhausted, happy, and realized you were going to teach us more than we bargained for. The nursery nurses told us "she likes to be held" and that was probably the only advice we received that rang true for your first 18 months of life. You had us up all night, all day, and in between fits of rage from your un-diagnosed milk allergy you would smile a smile that let us know to just keep holding you.
In nine years you have proven to be tiny, yet mighty. We heard a million labels and went to a million different therapies and you prevailed. Nothing was going to hold you back. Nothing was too tough for you to accomplish. And there was nothing you did without a smile. You are the gift of lessons.
In nine years you have taught me patience. You continue to throw curve balls into my need to plan everything personality. You have your own timeline and you will accomplish the goal, but you will do it when you are ready. With my mental checklist always in the fore front, you continually teach me to slow that checklist, enjoy the sunshine, and just let life happen. Just yesterday you used a knife correctly and made your own sandwich. We have been working on this incessantly and like always, it just clicked. I know you will continue to teach me to breathe and take pause and to embrace the world around me. Patience is never easy, but like you, it is worth the wait.
In nine years you have taught me bravery. Oh my goodness, you are so brave! With every challenge, I pray you will find success. You ask so many questions, voice your opinion, tell me when you are ready and then you take that leap of faith and the accomplishment is the most glorious thing I have ever witnessed. You rocked swim team and second grade this past year. Even when things were tough to learn, when things were exhausting, you tried. You tried, tried, and tried again until you were able to complete the task at hand. A few days ago, you swam in your first ever swim meet. Your bravery was admirable. You were nervous, you cried, but with all the courage your tiny body has you climbed onto the block and dove into that water to swim as fast as you could. I do not think I could have screamed any louder. You are a woman of valor.
In nine years you have taught me unconditional love. Whether you have had a bad day, or your sister has, or I have, you love us no matter what. You are never angry. You forgive immediately. You accept us and love us every minute of every day. You love with your whole heart. You love with every fiber of your being and those lucky enough to be loved by you have a heart filled.
In nine years you have taught me joy. Joy in all the things. Pancakes, waffles, a trip to Target, LEGOS, LOL dolls, the park, a car ride, a sunset, a cloud in the sky....it literally doesn't matter what it is, you will find the joy. During this pandemic you were able to find a bright spot in every thing, every day, every hour. You were our happiness in five months of uncertainty. You brought smiles and laughs, you brought a care free spirit, you brought jubilation.
You are an inspiration to so many. You do not realize the influence you have on others, but you motivate people to work harder. You show people that grit and determination pay off. You remind people to never quit. You show the world to never ever count out the underdog, the small one, the quiet one. You persevere in all that you do and your family and village of friends watch in awe as you soar.
You are strong. You are coming into your personality and beginning to get sassy, but your strength and convictions are solid. You know right from wrong and choose to surround yourself by those who lift you up. Your friends support you and you support them. You encourage, you follow rules, you stay on the path that is correct for you and deviate for no one. You are true to yourself.
Nine years ago, I did not know all you would bring to our family. You may not know it, but you are the glue that holds us together. We can always count on you to re-center our focus, turn a bad day into a good one, to remind us to hug, to show us the beauty in our family. You are our sunshine, our happiness, our unicorn and rainbow.
You are smart, tenacious, caring, kind, funny, loyal, and phenomenal. You are all those things and so much more. Your Hebrew name, Malka Chaya, means Queen of Life and that you truly are. You live each day to the fullest, never let anything stop you and you remember to smile along the way.
I hope nine is all you dream it to be. I hope nine continues to be a year of growth and triumph.
Happy ninth birthday to the baby that will still hold my hand and still tells me "I love you more."
I love you more today than yesterday. I love you forever.
NINE IS DIVINE