Friday, July 4, 2008

To my baby on your birthday

My precious baby, born on the 4th of July.

You arrived late. Four days late. What I perceived about you as I waited those extra days proved to be true. People thought I was crazy when I told them that you did not want to come out. They smiled sympathetically when I explained that you were moving up closer to my heart instead of towards the exit. All this was true, and after you arrived I learned that you liked to be snuggled close to my heart but at bedtime you wanted to left alone. As a baby you would snuggle in your crib contently only to cry in discomfort when I tried to ruffle your hair one last time before leaving you. Even today you grimace and squirm when I kiss you while you are sleeping. You are a girl who knows what she likes and prefers things to be the way you like them. I get that. I respect that. I am like that too.

You try to do things by yourself, even if it ends up not working out the way you planned. You are persistent in your efforts and don't give up until you have succeeded or worked yourself into an impossible situation. Someday I will tell you about the time I tried to lift a 40 pound bag of potting soil into my Home Depot cart only to fall over backwards much to the amusement of the other shoppers. Your desire to do difficult things without assistance will never go away. Mine hasn't.

I know the secrets of your heart. I know why you tell me to go away and then scream and follow me in tears, mad that I left you. The first time it happened I was shocked and then relieved because I realized that I feel that way too sometimes. It occurred to me that I spent much of my childhood pushing away my parents only to be mad at them because they weren't there for me when I needed them. I hope we don't dance the same dance, but I know that we probably will.

I see so much of myself in you. I see other things in you that are uniquely all yours. Everything I see in you makes me beam with pride and love. Happy Birthday baby. These three years have been a wonderful adventure that I have thoroughly enjoyed. I love you with all that I am.