How the year has flown
Happy first birthday, Audrey Sophia.
It has been an absolute delight mothering you this year —
truly, all of the joys of babyhood, and (nearly) none of the angst.
Is it because you’re my fourth, and I’m old hat at baby stuff, now?
Is it because it’s just the right time in my life to fully appreciate a girl, now,
after three delightfully crazy boys?
I was a bit afraid, you know, to mother a girl.
I still have it strike me, sometimes, that I’m not doing the “girly” things well enough… like when we saw that other baby girl at Trader Joe’s yesterday, gossamer ribbon in her wavy, dark hair, and little pearl bracelet on a tiny wrist.
But, save for those semi-momentary pangs, I’m at ease being the mother of a girl.
You’ve fit in so well with our family.
We can’t imagine being without you;
My eyes blur with tears to think that we might have missed you,
had we stopped at the very reasonable number of three children.
I think your birth won’t be the last time you push someone past the edge of reason.
Your dear daddy had visions of a demure, tidy little thing,
all flouncy skirts and gentleness…
and while we have a fair number of lovely dresses & such,
I can’t count the number of times we’ve admonished you, “Gentle hands, Audrey.”
And it’s your heart’s delight to make a mess way larger
than one so small should be able to make.
I tell myself that I’d rather have a spunky, self-assured, playful, active girl
than the passive kind.
I think your personality bodes well for your future.
We still marvel at your innate girlhood, though —
your enamored attraction to all things “baby;”
your feminine voice;
the way you flirt with your Daddy — head tilted, shoulder shrugged, shy smile;
your love for glittery, pretty things, and flowers;
your shocked, lip-jutted pout when Daddy sternly tells you, “No!”
your awareness of people — your love for pictures of your family
(none of your three brothers had that so young).
I’m delighted to have you at such a time as this.
I’m humbled that the Father has deemed me the right mother for you.
I’m excited that you have the opportunity to be in a family who will
not discourage your femininity as simply “frivolous”
but also that you have a mother who was (and in some ways still is) a tomboy —
so if you’re interested in things that aren’t typically girly,
I’ll certainly understand.
But, if it turns out that you have a love for shiny, lacy, pink frocks and other super-feminine things of which I can’t think, because they just don’t come to my own mind,
That will certainly be all right, too.
Be assured that your family loves you dearly.
Your brothers, your Daddy, and most certainly me — your Mama.
Happy birthday, my dear daughter.