|Pure joy. Opening birthday presents.|
If she was music, she would be rock and roll.
If she was a flower, she would be a primrose.
If she was a color, she would be magenta.
If she was a fabric, she would be silk.
If she was a food, she would be a loaf of artisan bread.
If she was a politician, she would be irresistible.
She's indescribable, my jBird. She's tough and she's gentle. She's imaginative and she's literal. She's ladylike and she's messy. She's bold and she's humble. She's caring and she's practical. She loves babies and she wants to be an astronaut. She's an activist. She's persuasive. She's brilliant. She's a networker. She's intense. She's fair-minded. She's very, very silly.
She's a maelstrom that entered our lives eight years ago this week.
I've been reflecting on the last eight years and have been finding it difficult to put it into words. From the very start, she has systematically shattered any preconceived notions I may have had of motherhood. She has done it with a smile and a gentle, unrelenting spirit. Eight years later, she's still doing it.
When she was 18 months old, I noticed she was singing along with Frank Sinatra in the car: Gotchooo unda ma 'kin!
Under my skin is where she is. I am madly in love with my husband. My Hooligan is my sweetheart and can melt me with a wink, but nobody on this planet is as viscerally attached to me as my little girl.
I go to bed every night feeling like I've failed her. Like I haven't been the woman she needs me to be, let alone the mother. I have this powerful, gregarious, magnetic little girl and I fear I will make her ashamed of me in my retiring and relaxed ways. She would not agree with me if I told her this. She would wail and hug and reassure and kiss me all over my face and tell me I was the best mother in the world, and then she would ask for Daddy to put her to bed.
I am honored that the job of mother has been entrusted to me. That I have been given this complicated, delightful little girl to raise. It is not my job to make her into something. It is my job to recognize that she already is something. Something amazing and wondrous and more than I could ever imagine. It is my job to hold her hand and guide her through. To teach her the things she needs to know to be a grownup. It is my job to celebrate who she is and teach her to do the same.
It is a fearful and rigorous work. But she makes it more than worth it.
Happy birthday to my jBird with all of her quirks and facets, her shining light.