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.


Her Grace said...

Happy Birthday, Little A!

KC said...

Happy birthday little one. Do you know how lucky you are to have so much love in your life?

Ally said...

This is so lovely. I love the part about calculating the odds of her existence. What a miracle that she came to be part of your family. What a blessing. Happy Birthday, Little A.

Christine said...

I think the greatest gift Little A ever got was a momma like you.

You bless each other.

T with Honey said...

Happy Birthday, dear Little A
Happy Birthday to you!

Anonymous said...

"God. Just saying your name causes so much raw emotion within me that I can barely breathe"

Teared up a little.

"See, momma really isn't what or who you think I am"

Swallowed hard and bit my lip.

"oh God, please, let that be one of the last things that I recall when I leave this earth."


Quit beating yourself up and just keep writing and doing what you are doing. Today, you are one of the best people that I know. Inside and out. And that is who you are.

And Little A is lucky to have you. And you do deserve her.

In the Trenches of Mommyhood said...

And now I'm all teary!
Little A has a wonderful devoted mommy.

Becc said...

Happy birthday Little A.

I hope you always know that you too were given the greatest gift on Earth - your beautiful beautiful mother.

slouching mom said...

Happy Birthday to Little A, and to her sweet mama too.

Blog Antagonist said...

So sweet and so honest. Do yourself and you daughter a favor. Print this out and put it in her baby book. She'll enjoy reading it one day when she's a Mom.

Amanda said...

Sweet baby, sweet mama.

Just love, you rlittle one and yourself.

jen said...

oh, baby girl. with this much love, i can't wait to see what magic you spin. a happy, joyous year to you.

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

Tender. I too have a little A (several years older), as well as an E. and another E. The little one is away for the first time. I miss her, as well as the older ones. Blessings.

bjover said...

Happy Birthday little A!

Both of you are gifts to one another

Anonymous said...

This was beautifully written, made me cry. It's amazing what such small creatures do to our hearts.

As for the mistakes, quit worrying about them. You can't undo them, leave them in the past. We can only do our best at the time.

Even thought my children push me to the very edge of rational thought, they have such a tight grip on my heart, it makes me ache sometimes. Thanks for reminding me of this.

Seattle Mamacita said...

beautiful. happy birthday little A, what a priceless gift.

S said...

Happy birthday sweet precious little A. Beautifully written Jenn, what a wonderful tribute for her birthday! Oh my gosh, I so cannot believe she is two already! I am coming over soon, my heart hurts, I miss her so much. I miss her "taking it to the floor". The girls & I stoppped by the other day & talked to the dogs through the fence.