To my Scarlett,
Today is your first birthday. You don’t quite know what that means yet – but it’s a good thing; a great thing even. It means that you have been here with us for one whole year. On May 18, 2007 at 5:40 pm – you were born.
The hospital room was chaotic. There were doctors yelling, phones ringing, machines beeping – and then, all of a sudden, there was you. You were tiny and so quiet despite the chaos. You didn’t cry at all. You just…looked. Your dad held you first, and I watched as the tears streamed down his face, off the bridge of his nose and onto your blanket. He didn’t wipe them away; He didn’t take his eyes off of you; He just held you and cried. (If life offered a pause button, I’d have pressed it right then.) Your dad would go on to proudly tell his friends, “there’s something about a girl…there’s just something about a little girl,” and I’d smile knowing the exact moment he had figured that out.
We left the hospital and we could barely carry everything to the car. So many people had brought you flowers and balloons and stuffed animals. Your dad’s hands were too full and he accidentally let go of a balloon in the parking lot. He and I both stopped and smiled as it floated up and over the streets of downtown New Haven, as if announcing to the whole city that you were finally here. (And even then, we knew that one day you’d like that story.) When we got home, our neighbor was planting you a beautiful garden on our back deck. She said she wanted to give you “something pretty to look at.” There were flowers everywhere – and they were all for you. We opened the back door, we brought you inside, and then – a year flew by.
Ah, my baby girl, what was life before you? In this past year you’ve slept, you’ve woke, you’ve smiled, you’ve cooed, you’ve laughed (and my heart skipped a beat), you’ve rolled, you’ve sat, you’ve clapped (and we did too), you’ve crawled, you’ve walked, you’ve talked, and we’ve loved every second of you. Right before you were born a woman was trying to explain to me just how much I was going to love you when you came. There was a softness in her eyes, and she was literally glowing as she said to me, “You’re going to love that baby so much. You don’t know it now, but just wait…you will soon enough.” At the time, I thought, “Well, of course I’m going to love the baby”…but she was right. I had no idea just how much. Now I sit here with a softness in my eyes just thinking about you. Thank you for this past year, my baby bubbaloo. You make everything worth it somehow. Happy birthday, Scarlett.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
To my Scarlett,