Vivian, look at yourself.
About 6 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was nervous, asking all of those idiotic first time mom questions. (Will it hurt? Oh course. How will I know it’s time? You will. Hoooo doggie you will.)
I dreamt of you. One night I dreamed your name was Vivian and we spoke of magical mundane things and you held my hand as we crossed the street. You were six, well spoken, witty and amazing.
Oh darling, how marvelous it is to have a dream come true.
You read. You read stories to me. We read The Magic Shop and you stop me every paragraph or so, whispering,
“This part is mine Mommy.”
and without a hitch, you read. Sure, your tongue tangles here and there, and you might tilt your head up for help breaking a word down, but dammit girl, you are reading, and well. I watch worlds well and expand in your eyes, and I become the mother I saw in that dream.
You inspire me my little.
You are so very much the antithesis of me. You are bright, and bubbly and charming. You believe the best in everything and everyone, and I am loathe to nudge you, even a little, from this path. I do anyway, because it’s my job to protect that beaming smile and lanky body. You are an optimist, but a realist too. My explanations settle in you, your mind quieted by reasons.
You make me believe that people can truly do anything. I have never believed that for myself, not really, but watching you, seeing your hands deftly find their way with army men, grasshoppers or the garden hose, I realize that you may save a life someday. Create life. Build statues. Build love.
I am struck dumb so often by you, by this person I am raising, this woman I help to create. A girl so far unconcerned that she isn’t as “girly” as the others at school, a girl happy to grub in the dirt, dreaming of planes. You have your own drummer, and I revel in this, hoping it never disappears.
I have my dreams for you, but boiled down, simplified, they are this: Be Happy. As a baby you smiled up at me, a gummy grin, and I was engulfed at that moment, finally, months in, feeling my love for you. Overwhelmingly I thought
‘Let her always be this happy, regardless the cost. Just let her be this happy.”
So far, we seem to be doing ok.
I miss my smiling baby, my giggling toddler, my pensive little preschooler. But she’s being replaced by this incredible little woman, with her own dreams, her own wants and needs, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s growing into herself.
And it is fantastic.
Happy Birthday my girl.