Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Happy 7th Birthday

To my daughter on her birthday,

How are you 7? Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just yesterday I was cleaning up baby sweet potato off your face? When did enough time pass for you to be seven?

As you know, seven years ago I left a meeting to head back to work to prepare for another school year. I was in the role of administration now, building a career in education when our lives changed with a phone call. After two and half years of waiting, I was a mom. We were parents. Standing outside the school building in the heat of August, you were here and we were chosen. As tears streamed down my face I learned you were born at 37 weeks, were 5lbs 14oz, and ours. Your birth mother chose us the day you were born. With a million emotions, I called your dad to tell him we were finally parents. I referred to you as "the baby" until your dad asked, "Is it a boy or girl?" I was so elated, I forgot to ask our caseworker. I called her back to find out you were a girl. Phone calls to our family and closest friends was followed by a shopping spree of baby furniture, clothes, purple paint for your room, and everything else we thought we needed. It turns out, as you know, we already had what we

I love you with every inch of my being. Your arrival brought more meaning to our lives than you will ever know. You're one of the most phenomenal people I have ever encountered. The way you refuse to brush your hair, but then beg for the girliest of dresses is so typical of your personality. You're stubborn, opinionated, and brilliant. You are too smart for your own good. Wise beyond your years. You are loyal, trustworthy, generous. Your heart is filled with joy and laughter. You are simply divine.

Please know, you are not perfect. You have your tantrums, your screams, your frustration, your anger. I can tell what you are feeling by looking at those huge brown eyes. You wear your emotions on your sleeve. With every life lesson you learn, you take away something.

In seven years you have learned to let some small things go, you have learned to treat others with respect, you have learned that lying is horrible, you have learned how to be a good person. When others are sad or hurt, you ask them why. You try to make them feel better. You are getting better at conflict resolution.

Words cannot express how grateful I am to be your mother. Even on your very worst day, I am grateful. Even when you get so mad you slam a door, I am grateful. You are a gift from G-d and trust me, I remember that daily.

You are an incredible big sister. You were so excited to become a big sister. Even at three, when your grandmothers took you to build-a-bear to make a special bear for yourself - you asked to make one for your little sister. You look after her, you think of her, you never leave her behind. She is your partner, she is your best friend, she is your sister. You adore her, except when she tattles. (and that's ok!)

While you are not perfect, neither am I. I mess up, I get frustrated, I make mistakes. Some days I make more mistakes than I care to and you are there to love, to hug, to forgive. We are mother and daughter and while independently not perfect, we are perfect for each other.

You light up my life with that great big smile of yours. A smile mixed with baby teeth to remind me you are still a child and big teeth to remind me how much you've grown.

Your inquisitive nature keeps me on my toes. I have no idea what a certain animal's diet consists of, or why the clouds look the way do, or how an airplane works, but together we find the answers. Together, we have navigated friends moving away, changing schools, independence, death, adopting your sister, traveling to different cities and countries, and countless other moments.

On this seventh birthday, you should know you are terrific. You are determined. You will make anything you want happen and I look forward to watching you grow and learn and continue to become an amazing woman.

I am proud each and every day to be your mother. Thank you for the last seven years. I look forward to a lifetime with you.

Happy seventh birthday to the baby who first held my finger, who was the first to call me mama, who was the first to do everything. You may be the oldest child, but you will always be my baby.

May all your birthday wishes come true.


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