Dear little Miss M,

First of all, you are no longer that little. But you are still Miss M, and you will always be Miss M. When you were first born, I started calling you Miss M, or sometimes just "ma'm." You seemed like such an old soul in a tiny little body, and needed something far more formal than the name we'd given you.

Still does this, but in bigger PJs.

You were indignant and angry from the start. I remember every night you'd cry from 6 pm-8 pm. Every single night. Two hours straight. Angry, balled up fists in the air. Mad at only god knows what, for god knows what reason. And you hated sleep; you didn't want to miss a thing (you are still like this). The moment you took your first step, I felt a rush of relief - you were free, FREE! But also a deep sadness...the first step is the beginning of the end of babyhood...toddlerdom...childhood. It's been 7 years, and in another mere 9 you'll be driving. It goes so, so fast.  

You are a strong-willed, determined little girl. You like girly things like cheerleading, make up, nail polish, dancing, One Direction, Nick (and Joe) Jonas, sparkles, the color pink, Disney princesses, Disney's anti-princesses, and you'd really really like to go on a date with a boy except I can tell: you don't even know what that really means or entails. But you also like boy things like skateboards and scooters, Star Wars, soccer, Sunday night football (which you understand so much better than I do - thank your father, he's just made you cool with all the jocks), worms and roly poly bugs, all things gross, and fart jokes. 
Loves to party. With sparkles.

You are a becoming a mini-me, but with a lot of good balance from your dad's genetics. You are highly imaginative and in your own head a lot (me); yet you're a total social butterfly who can't say no to a good party (your dad). You love stories and music and creativity (me); yet you're analytical enough to be one of the best mathematicians in your class (your dad). You're disorganized (me), but you can clean like nobody's business when necessary (your dad). You're all emotions (me) but really logical (your dad) (emotions + logic = bless you, my darling...you got a looooong, crazy road ahead of you trying to marry those two character traits). You are stubborn (me) but not unreasonable (your dad). You have an illogical issue with shoes and clothes (that's all me...and you got nothing from your dad to counteract that, sorry).

Yesterday, I completely lost it with you. In public. I am sorry, sweet girl. When things like that happen, where afterwards I am filled with guilt and What-The-Heck-Is-WRONG-With-You-Amy?! thoughts, I always hope it becomes a memory that gets buried deep deep down in the recesses of your brain. And I'm sorry I've taught you cuss words. I'd honestly intended to wait until you were at least 10. (I'm sure by now you get it: mommy's got a temper, and now you know why you do, too.) 
....and/or she'll be running her own small country.
Sometimes, because you are such an old soul and also very tall for your age, I forget: you are only 6 (now 7), just a baby. And I am having a hard life, and so are you. You cry a lot and ask why daddy can't come over for a sandwich, and why we can't be together as a family anymore. You asked, for your birthday this year, if you and I could spend the night at daddy's house, and all three of us sleep in the same bed like we did a long time ago. You are sad when you're with daddy because you miss me and worry I'm lonely without you. You are sad when you're with me because you miss daddy and worry he's lonely without you. 

Your tender heart breaks mine a lot; I have tremendous amounts of guilt about what I did this summer. But I also did it because I deeply felt that, in the long run, it would be the very best thing for all three of us and I never ever do anything without weighing all the possible best/worst case scenarios and being prepared to accept any and all consequences that follow every choice I make. I feel like it's really important you know that...on the first birthday you've had not waking up in a house that has both me and daddy.
Cheerleader. For dolphins.

At night, you like me to make up stories for you in which you are rescued or whisked away by Harry Styles of One Direction until you giggle yourself silly. Then I draw pictures on your back and sing You Are My Sunshine or The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow or Somewhere Over the Rainbow until you fall asleep. And after you are asleep, I stare at your profile, and I can still see the little face from the ultrasound images 7 years ago. Isn't that amazing? From a side angle in the dark, you are still a mysterious part of me. I remember I couldn't believe you were actually inside of me. And even now, years later, I can still feel the surreal, freakish sensation of having your tiny feet swipe at my insides when you were finally big enough to make your presence known. I watch you sleep and think about how small you once were, how your entire body fit perfectly on my chest, and I remember how we'd defy all the What Not To Do parenting articles and risk it just to lie together, napping...me on the sofa, you on my chest. Really, it was the only way you could sleep. You have been sleeping on top of me ever since, often with a foot in my face.

But mostly I just look at your sweet sleeping self a lot of nights and think the same thing I thought when you were lying in the bassinet next to me in the hospital: I can't believe my body made you, and that you picked me to be your mommy. You are the happiest and saddest and most exciting and silliest and angriest and scariest and hardest and best thing I have ever done, and ever will do. 

My most favorite thing ever.
Happy 7th year on Earth, little Miss M. I'm so lucky I get to be YOUR mommy. You are my favorite, my most favorite little girl, on the WHOLE planet. There is no other little girl I love more than you, no other little girl I ever want to hug and kiss and fight and laugh and sing and cry and watch movies and dance and take nature hikes with. 

I hope you are growing up with more happy moments than sad (but I think some sadness is good for you, too - so you can appreciate the happy), and more than anything else that you know how tremendously loved you are. Every single night before you fall asleep, after I sing You Are My Sunshine to you, I say: "You are my very best blessing." I made a conscious choice when you were 2 hours old to do that, to make sure those are almost always the last words you hear before you fall asleep, no matter what kind of day you or I or we have had. It's the most important thing to me that you know you are a blessing, that you are worthy of love, that you are perfect just as you are...because one day you will encounter people who will make you question that, and doubt yourself. Which is why my biggest wish for you, every day, is that as you grow up you'll encounter far more of the OTHER kind of people, the ones who will see who you really are and love even the darkest parts of you.

I send prayers to the Universe, on a consistent basis, that you are one day in a home of your very own, one that you'll fill up with things that bring you peace and happiness and inspire moments of creative abandon full of wild recklessness. I write daily requests to Whatever is listening, that you'll find something to do with your life that brings you joy and makes you feel good, and that you'll be surrounded with people who help you and support you through the gloomiest bits while bringing your life a little weirdness, a lot of extraordinary, and great gigantic gobs of blessings and love. 

You are the all the very best parts of me and your daddy wrapped up in one beautiful place, in one growing and magnificently magical child, and more than that, you are my very best blessing of all. I love you, sweet girl. Happy birthday. 

October 30, 2015

Miss M likes zombie eyes.

My very best blessing. Thank you, Universe.

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