A very special little member of our family is having a birthday in a couple of days. Can you believe it? Already. I'll sound like a cliche when I say I don't understand how fast it happens or how they grow so much in so very little time. When I think of her tiny limbs and the smallness of her little curled up body and how it fit so closely and compactly against my own torso and chest ~ and compare it to now. Another humbling moment, indeed.
Bea is a constant reminder that each and every little person conceived begins with enormous potential - no matter what. We are all little seeds. Just waiting for the right amount of light, water, and gentle care. Our environmental conditions play an enormous role in determining our future. How we nurture and bring up our children is akin to caring for our garden. Do we weed it? Are we aware of beneficial and non-beneficial critters who share their space?
Her birthday, or this time of year for that matter, doesn't roll around without a flood of memories (both bittersweet and joyful) of a sequence of events, that led us to her. I wonder if I'll always look back and re-read emails between us and our social worker. Will I click through photos of our photo library, stunned and stricken with awe of this miraculous, beautiful piece of work that was dropped into my husband and I's hands? If I know me, I will.
Bea, you are a talkative, funny, curious, passionate little girl. You keep me laughing and smiling throughout my days at your side. I love your love for animals, and our chickens in particular, and the outdoors, and bicycles, and birds singing, and dancing, and painting, and Blackie, and your grandparents, and your cousins, and your friends at school, and shoes, and books, and cold water, and Dolly, and Foo Foo, and cooking in the kitchen, and cleaning everything in sight.
Sometimes, I'd like to keep these moments still. To have you as my little girl, at my side, in my constant presence always. To hold these little girl years in my arms oh so very tight always. Because I know tomorrow I'll wake up ten years, twenty years, thirty years older and these days will be distant memories of time so short and fleeting and so long ago, that I'll stop and wonder if they were ever really here at all.
You've taught me so much more than I'll ever be able to reciprocate. And yes, I can't wait to continue this journey of life with you, even though it's a daily exercise of letting go of the past and embracing what will be.
This week we'll head to Louisiana to celebrate the life of Byron's grandmother, Bea's great grandmother. Bea will have the good fortune to be surrounded by many, many family members as she completes her second trip around the sun. Yesterday evening, Byron and I celebrated with Beatrix - just the three of us. Three balloons, homemade cupcakes, a thrifted tricycle with a coordinating "bike" skirt, and her very own baby was more than she was expecting for this mild, spring evening.