Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Birthday, B


         At 4:08 a.m. on March 14, 2006, you came into this world. And every year since, I set my alarm for that time on that day to have a silent celebration of your arrival. I find that even though I set my alarm, I don't actually need it. When I woke up at 4:08 this morning, I thought about the days leading up to your birth. I thought about the first time I laid eyes on you. For a couple of months after your arrival, I kept meaning to write down every detail of those 4 days. I wanted to get in down while it was fresh, terrified that I would forget something. The thing I didn't realize then is that those days are impossible to forget. I remember them with startling detail. I remember counting time between contractions with Betsy and Phebe. I remember watching Jeopardy! and trying to take a hot bath to soothe the pain. I remember listening to Madonna on the way to the hospital the first time. I remember being told to go home and take Tylenol PM. I remember eating a pizza and drinking a Route 44 Ocean Water and returning to the hospital less than 24 hours later. I remember begging Betsy, through tears, to go track down the anesthesiologist at 1:00 a.m. Prior to styling the lovely hospital gown, I wore a black dress and a pink zip-up hoodie. When you finally arrived, you had white blond hair that was sticking straight up and beautiful blue eyes. I remember being rendered speechless  when they put you in my arms (and you'll figure out as you get older, I'm not often rendered speechless).

         B, there aren't many moments in life you remember with such detail. This is one of the few. And every March 14, I run over it again in my mind.

        When I'm alone at 4:00 in the morning, I say a prayer for you. This is not to say that I don't pray for you all the time, but this prayer is a little different. I thank God for the preceding year and ask simply that the one to come is as blessed as the one before.

         Love, we've had a rough couple of years. But you keep trucking right along. This year, you started kindergarten. This year, you learned to read. I mean really read, not just memorize books and repeat the words (although this was always very sweet, especially when we read The Lorax). This year, you wished Star Wars was real ("...all of it. Even The Clone Wars.") According to you, your favorite food is chicken and your favorite TV is Tom and Jerry. You're endlessly entergetic and you love riding your bike, legos, Angry Birds, and playing "pirate ship" in the backyard.

          Sometimes, it's hard for me to believe that you're already 6. Sometimes, it baffles me that you're only 6. And while you've learned so much, you've still got so far to go.  When I think about you're future, I find that I want very simple things for you. But you'll figure out (too soon), that life is, at times, quite complicated.  I want you to be happy. This is very broad, but that doesn't make it any less true. I want you to always be curious and to never stop learning. But I also want you to realize that you're never going to know everything. And, maybe most importantly, I want you to learn to trust yourself. You'll find as you get older that everyone's a critic. There will be times when you'll begin to doubt your decisions. This is alright, because it means your being thoughtful. But at the end of the day, trust your own instincts. And I promise, I'll try to trust you, too.

There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long,
"I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong,"
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend,
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you - just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.
           -Shel Silverstein

Happy birthday, B.



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