05 March 2013


Adriana Burkhart Jennifer Barko

Dear Big A, 


I have to pause and take a deep breath as I try to wrap my mind around this moment, this day. I remember when you turned five that I was thinking, "In five more years, she's going to be ten, five years after that, she's going to be fifteen" and on and on. 

At that point in time, the concept seemed impossible. It still does, except this morning you blew out fifteen candles on your birthday pancake and there I was, drifting between five and fifteen and stunned, still, with the realization that I have no idea where the time has gone. 

I know I tell you so many times that I think that you are amazing. I know that hearing it from your mom isn't the blanket of comfort to you that I mean for it to be. I'm aware that me loving you doesn't solve anything for you; that it isn't the salve that can heal the wounds that come with being a teen; that it doesn't make things easier. I know that my kisses don't make things better anymore and that your belief in my magic is gone. My saving hope is that your belief in your own magic remains.

Could you bear it, one more time, me telling you of how much I loved you the moment that I saw you? I know that you cannot, but I think that I cannot tell you it enough. You sliced my world apart; cut me to the core and filled it with such a light that I was momentarily blinded. I still feel that each time I look at you. "How can something so wonderful be mine?" And then I remember that you're not mine, that you are yours and then I hope that someday you will feel something so powerful that it moves you to beyond anything that words can describe and you will think, "That is how much she loved me."

So many times within the past year I have seen you from afar and not recognized you. I knew who you were, of course, but to see you, really see you, that slayed me each time. You are so beautiful, so composed, so gifted that I have to remind myself of the moment that I met you, that you were a part of my being, because I cannot imagine having created and nurtured someone so wonderful. 

I'm sorry for all of the times that you felt that I didn't think you were anything but my world. I'm sorry if you ever thought that I pushed you too much, that I wasn't happy with something that you did--it's just that I want you to see how the world is in your hands and all of the potential that you hold--it's much different than where I am at now in my life; my world being in the hands of you and your sister. 

Today I couldn't stop myself from thinking that in five more years, you will be twenty. You will be gone from our home, out making your way in the universe. I know that you will come back, but that it will never be the same, nothing is ever the same anyway, so that doesn't bother me so much anymore. What makes me ache is how much I miss the little you, your precious cheeks and legs and how you would lay on my chest and sleep all night.  

I don't think of time as passing and the moments being gone so much as I think of it as the moments remaining there forever, each second living on within its own universe. That thought soothes me some, thinking that those precious minutes exist still and that I can visit them, feel them, smell them whenever I wish. The trick is not staying there reminiscing too long, for I want to make sure that I participate in today and tomorrow and each gift of time with you that I have. 

I love that we can speak fluent sarcasm with each other and know that it's a language of love. I love that you can sing the words of my favorite songs. I loved that last night when we were singing in the car and you said something about being embarrassing and got out to run into the gym and I rolled down the window so that Little A and I could belt out, "Born and raised in south Detroit", I could see your face in the glass door and that you were laughing. Your beautiful face grinning from ear to ear made even the saddest corners of my soul smile. 

Fifteen, Big A. You are my sunshine; you always have been from the moment I laid my eyes upon you.

Happy, happy birthday my love.

Love always, 

Your Adoring Mother