03 July 2007
Her Birthday. My Gift.
This week, Little A will be two years old. It's her birthday, but I'm the one that gets the gift in the form of bright blue eyes and white blond hair and unabashed adoration. I'm not sure what I'll actually purchase her this year, but I want to give her these words to have for future birthdays.
Dear Little A,
God. Just saying your name causes so much raw emotion within me that I can barely breathe.
There are so many things I want to tell you, sweet love, so many things about you and about me and about life. The words swirl in my head, the thoughts cross my mind and heart constantly, they whisper to me as I'm dozing off at night. "You need to tell her this, she needs to know this".
These words mean nothing to you now, little girl. I know this. Someday, though, they will. Someday, when you look at me not through the adoring eyes with which you now gaze upon me, but instead with the eyes of someone who sees flaws and cracks and imperfections, I need you to know these words. I need you to know that they've been there, for so long, writing themselves over and over and over in my heart.
I need you to know that when I kiss your sweet head and murmur, "I'm sorry, baby" to you in the smallest voice that I can find the things that I'm sorry for. There are so many things, really. See, momma really isn't what or who you think I am. I'm not deserving of what I've been given. I've made mistakes, big ones, and I'm afraid of what they will bring you. I'm afraid on a daily basis that I'm making mistakes, one after another, over and over, a waterfall of errors that will end in an ocean of pain for you to navigate.
I'm sorry, sweetie, that I didn't love you from the moment I knew you existed. I'm sorry that the thought of you did what it did to me. I'm sorry that I didn't just focus on the miracle that you even existed, rather than spending my time being angry and calculating the odds of you existing repeatedly, until the edges of my mind were worn down with those numbers.
I'm sorry that for so very long, I felt the need to explain your existence to so many people. That I felt like I owed some detailed reason about why you were here. That I felt like I needed to answer the unspoken question in their eyes with anything more than how much I love you. The guilt I feel over that now is overwhelming. The reality is that you are here because, for reasons that I cannot comprehend, I was blessed enough to have you.
Let me tell you what you do for me, Little A.
You light up my world. You reaffirm my faith in a greater power. You make me drop to my knees and sob when I'm holding you because I love you that much. That much, Little A, I love you so much that I cannot articulate what I feel in anything other than tears of gratitude. I'm reduced to that.
You humble me. You amaze me. You make me want to be the best person that I can so that I'll remain your hero. Your laughter decorates my soul. That look on your face when you know that you're doing something you shouldn't, and you can't help but laugh anyway, oh God, please, let that be one of the last things that I recall when I leave this earth.
Your open heart is a wonder to me. How you so easily accept people and places and changes and smile at all of them. I want you to always have that heart. I want you always to see each day and each person as an opportunity, a gift, a chance to deliver light where it's needed.
The moments that we have where I can hold you, where you lay your head on my shoulder, where you say, "I really, really love you".....I know that those moments are delivered to me straight from the wings of angels. I know that they have been given to me as proof that second chances exist.
Your sweetness and devotion and even how you "take it to the floor" when you're upset--those are all gifts to me, undeserving as I am. The moments when you wake and find me there, staring in at you in your crib, when I'm nearly breathless when I pick you up--it's because what I feel for you nearly removes my ability to breathe. It's crushing, my love for you.
I want to give you the world, Little A. I want to shelter you from hurt and pain and anything that might cause a tear in your eyes or an ache in your heart. I want to remain this perfect creature that you love so desperately. I know, of course, that this is not possible.
Instead, I give you these words. They are wrapped within my heart and my soul and my entire being. They are the constant prayer that I say for you.
Your birth, Little A, was one of the greatest gifts of my life.
Happy, Happy Birthday Baby.
Momma loves you.