This week you turned three. But I feel like it was your first real birthday. You passed out cupcakes to friends at school. You walked around lost after your birthday party was over. All my friends are gone. I'm still wearing my birthday dress, but my party is over. And I smiled at you. Because now you know how it is. We look forward to things, we love them, they end, we are sad, sometimes relieved. Now you are three and starting to know these things.
Ramona, how did we get through the last three years? It was hard, but we did just fine. How did they go so fast? How is it possible it's only been three? I don't yearn for your babyhood. I'm too distracted by how neat you are in each new moment. How tall you are. How you said, "what the heck" and called your dad a "poopyhead". It's not all sweet, huh? I'm okay with that.
Less and less I see you as a list of achievements, milestones, percentiles. And I just see my little girl, who is not a baby. A funny girl. A sweet girl. Willful, difficult, flexible, loyal. This week I saw an adult woman sitting next to her adult daughter, they could not quit hugging. And I couldn't quit thinking of you, Ramona. Because I have a daughter too. and she's the best.
Happy Birthday, Beautiful.