I just brought you home from the hospital in your little yellow (we didn't know if you were a girl or a boy) onesie with the puppies on it. I sat in the back seat, holding on to your car seat as if the seatbelts weren't doing enough. Daddy drove home the whole way with the hazard lights on, in the slow lane, going just below the speed limit.
I just read book after book after book on sleep issues because you are great at falling asleep but then you wake up an hour later screaming. I would learn that you have sleep terrors which is associated with sleep walking/talking - you can blame your father for this one - and we will rearrange all our schedules to one that works best for you, including becoming a family bed.
I just signed us up for Mommy & Me ballet classes and Gymboree and Music Together and Swim Babies where our days are filled with activities to grow your mind and body.
I just took you to the doctor again for yet another ear infection, where he referred me to a respected ENT, who would walk us through the process of your first surgery (2 years later) which will hopefully prevent you from ever having another ear infection as long as you live.
I just spent another, of hundreds of nights, rocking you to sleep, while I cried on both of us, praying desperately that I would be a good mother and that I wouldn't screw us both up in the process.
How was that all 10 years ago? It's so vivid in my mind that I feel I could walk into your room this morning and find you playing in your crib, find your closet filled with little clothes, see the picture books and board books stacked on the floor.
But today, you are ten. 10! You have grown into a caring, generous, creative, intelligent, kind-hearted, beautiful young lady. And with the lump that is in my throat as I write this, I could not be more proud of you. Because for all that I did to get you started, you did the rest. It's all you, sweetie.
Happy Birthday, My Little Girl! I love you more than words can express. xo