Perhaps it’s a uniquely modern thing, but this situation is by no means unique- Abigail’s entire life is documented here. The boys were two and four when I started blogging, but I wasn’t yet pregnant with Abby. It was a hot, late-summer day at my mom’s house in California when I took a pregnancy test back in 2005, and Abby’s story began. Nine months of the worst pregnancy ever, and this beautiful little 9-pound butterball was the worth-every-moment result:
She was greeted and loved by more people than I ever imagined, and the circles of our lives broadened and expanded, via this media her mama had embraced. Telling our stories is such a powerful tool for connecting with other human beings. As Riversong says, “We’re all stories in the end. Make it a good one.” I hope in telling our stories, as honestly and as humanly as possible, I have given her a firm foundation to know who she is where she comes from.
Happy Birthday, my darling daughter. Here on the cusp of moving from girlhood into being a young woman, you daily amaze me. Your mind is a thing to behold- when people compliment me on you, “I just give her the raw materials and get out of her way.” It’s all you, babe. Truly.
For your birthday this year, you wanted a chemistry set, a centrifuge and roller skates. Perfection. We got the centrifuge taken care of the other day (though I’m sorry, I cannot buy one for you) and one of those boxes behind you has a brand spankin’ new pair of roller skates with purple wheels. Lately, you’ve discovered reading fiction, which is new for you. Your preference for textbooks and scientific journals is strong, but Black Beauty has opened your eyes to the beauty of a story. You bed is overflowing with books and notepads with diagrams and notes, and some nights when I kiss you goodnight, you have to push the piles out of the way to make room for your pillows. It seems to give you comfort and you never mind the sharing, so I let it slide. It’s your room, your bed.
For your birthday, a lovely friend out west heard you had been complaining about the inadequacy of toys to do real scientific work in excavation, and she sent you a pickax. I think it might be your favorite present ever. Grandma wants you to know she was slightly miffed that I hadn’t cued her in on this, and would have gotten you an ax instead of a bicycle, had she known.
The look of happiness on your face makes me ridiculously happy. I always want you to know that kind of happiness. Whether it comes from a pickax or from getting into Harvard for grad-school (yes, you’re already looking at grad schools. It cracks me up- at 8, I hadn’t even started thinking about college, and didn’t know what grad school meant) I want happiness and joy in your life. It won’t always be that easy, and there will be days of clouds and trial- you already know this more than most girls your age. But you have everything you need to forge the kind of life you want, and you have a family that will do everything possible to cheer you on, and then get out of your way. I love you, baby girl.
Forever and ever,