Tuesday, February 1, 2011


On the day I met you, you surprised me with your intensity. 

One minute, I was seated on the exam table, facing the nurse-midwife. My voice was even.  

I really like your shoes, I told her. She remarked that they were, indeed, comfortable. I thought that I would, perhaps, get a pair myself.

The next minute, you were in my arms. 

And then you nursed for the first hour of your life. You screamed when someone else held you. You attached to me with a fierceness I was unprepared for.You were a loud, wrinkly, thin-skinned little seed. The world was so much for you, all at once. You needed to burrow deep.

I worried that you'd always fear everything. Everyone. But in the past year especially, I've watched you peeking out more and more, your tender shoot testing the sunshine and finding it warm. Safe.

What's unfurling surprises me with its complexity. You're the girl who dances ballet and collects snakes. You're a snuggler through and through, but you can throw fits like no one else's business.  You sample many foods. But refuse to drink water for its boooorrrrring taste. You're sweet. But intense. You know what you want and you're willing to hold out for it. You warm my heart daily -- and push me to pull out my hair just as often.

At night you usually fall asleep instantly. But last night it was late when you crept downstairs and said you couldn't sleep. You were too excited.

For today. For being Four.

You were excited about presents, of course. But you're also looking forward to everything this year will bring. A booster seat in the car! A dance recital! 4K in the fall!

This excitement -- this looking forward to it all -- doesn't really surprise me, though.

You've always had it in you.

Happy birthday, E!