To my baby girl, Ab,
Nine years ago today, I resembled Violet from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I had only one purpley blue outfit that fit me, I waddled when I walked, and my face was permanently flushed pinky-purple from the 90 degree heat that I endured during my last month of your pregnancy. Let's face it girl. Your momma was not pretty. Not pretty at all! But one thing is for sure, my Ab, even though I was HUGE, and hot, and cranky and in pain, I walked into that hospital with a smile on my face, because I was headed to meet you.
In your 9 short years, you have taught me so much about myself and about the world. I remember changing your diaper in the hospital, and you screamed and screamed, and I said to you, out loud, "C'mon kid. Give me a break. I am new and learning this on the fly," and miraculously, you stopped crying. You gave me the benefit of my inexperience and were patient with me, a new mom, from the get go.
We learned some things together. While you learned your ABC's with Elmo, I had to learnhow to be patient when I had to listen to you sing the ABC's with ELmo repeatedly on a 12 hour car trip. When you learned how to exert your independence by saying, "I don't like that!" when choosing your morning outfit, I learned how to pick my mommy battles. Consequently, you went to the grocery store in cinderella's gown with socks and Dorothy's red ruby slippers.
Obviously, your love of fashion started early!
And as you grow, you give me more and more opportunities to learn. When I got overprotective and scared for you the day you told me about the school bully, I shouldn't have worried. The next day I learned that you and your friend ate lunch with the little girl in the wheel chair so that she wouldn't be lonely and so that the bully wouldn't bother her. How proud I was of you that day! You have such a big heart that is so full of love. Your Pollyanna outlook on the world inspires me every day to continue to look for the good in people. I have come to believe ,through you, that if I look for good in people, I will usually find it.
What a great lesson!
Finally, last night as you took the stage at your performance, you rocked out. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you had a solo ( a fact that you had neglected to share with me!), and you sang your heart out. You were confident and happy and enjoying your moment, and my heart swelled. I was so happy to see you embrace your joy. Again, you made me such a proud mom.
So,my love, I wish you a happy ninth birthday. I thank god each and every day that he picked me to be your mom. I am so very lucky.
PS There may be lots and lots of this letter that you think is weird or silly or just plain dumb, and that is OK. If all you get out of this letter right now is that I love you, then I am happy. But, someday, someday, you may be able to look back on this birthday letter, and you may be able to see just exactly what a wonderful gift you have been to me and your dad these last nine years.