This is a picture of you just a few hours after you were born. I knew that having you, my second child, My first girl, was going to change my life.
But the truth is, Niya, I had no idea.
I had no idea you would change my life in the way that you have. These past 8 years have been the most amazing 8 years of my life. You’re the best daughter that any mom could ever ask for.
You are a very bubbly, smart, talented and beautiful girl. I am very proud to be your mom. I cannot believe that you are turning 9 years old today! Each and every day, you amaze me with your curiosity, your joy, your boundless energy…and your tenacity. (Some would call it stubbornness.)
You possess a fashion sense that is uniquely you and influenced by no one – not even I can discourage you when you set your mind on an outfit. (Your DW would have approved of the leopard-print shirt dress, black leggings and black leather jacket, by the way.)
Your heart and flair for dramatics are always on point. Even if you forget a step or two, by golly, you can NAIL that final pose.
When you were a baby, you had a twinkle in your bright shiny eyes. One that still shines through in your happy moments.
You have your share of sadness and frustration, too…frustration when you can’t find the right words frustration when we don’t “get” what you are asking, frustration when you can’t find the right socks or the right outfit or when there is nothing on the menu that you like and in the “why don’t I like more foods” and the “nobody understands me” moments.
And those are ok, as are the tears.
Because from all of it, you are learning who you are. And we are discovering who you are along with you.
You are the girl with the big heart.
The girl who loves more than words can say and squeezes can be tolerated.
You are the girl who misses all the friends she has made, is excited about making new ones, and appreciates them all – even the boy you loaned your sweater to because he was cold in class got sick wearing your sweater. (Ms. Weinstein said that you were so concerned about his well-being, that you didn’t mind if he got germs on your sweater.) You never cease to amaze me.
You are the girl who feels deeply, who writes notes to her brother that start “I’m sorry if I’ve been a bad sister, I love you and I will try harder” and who makes Rainbow & Butterfly bracelet to apologize and to show love and appreciation.
You are our baby girl, and will always be, (even when you have your own, but lets not rush ahead just yet.)
With all the change that you’ve been through in the past year, may this year be the best one yet. I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for you.
I love you, baby.