Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl

Quinn had a fan-tabulous birthday party on Saturday at an historical carousel in our area, where I (and my siblings, mom, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends... basically everyone I know) used to go as a kid.  More to come on the party itself later - we're still gathering photos from the party, and still have celebrations to come :)

Despite the proclamation on the invites - "Your presence is Quinn's present" - our overly generous family and friends showered her with beautiful, thoughtful gifts.  The most incredible was a special project created by my best friend of 28 years (?!?!) - a book of beautiful letters from so many of our family and friends, to Quinn on her First Birthday.  It is something I will treasure forever.

And in its spirit, I wanted to write and share my letter to Quinn on this, her First Birthday.

Dear Quinn(y),

It's hard to write to you, right now, on your First Birthday.  My instinct is to bemoan all the things you'll miss, curse what ails you, and rage against the unfairness of it all.  But what you'll be cheated of is not for now.  Now is for what you have incredibly managed to do thus far.

The whole time you were in my belly, I knew you were a girl.  I'd deny it, even to myself, because admitting what I thought would be recognizing that I yearned for you.  For someone to share mani-pedis with, to dress in pretty dresses, to teach about boys and their silliness and girls and their strength, to spar with during your teenage years, to befriend in your adult years.  

And then you were given to me.  "You have a Female" was the announcement.  And my first action as your official mama was to apologize for ever thinking I didn't want a girl in the first place.

Recounting your medical concerns and everything you have managed to overcome in such a short time, in such a tiny body, seems bad form on such a celebratory day.  Instead, it's your spirit I'd rather capture.  The spirit of a 13-year old trapped in this teeny baby body.  You give the world's best diva looks, shortly before (or after) rocking the world's most amazing, engaging smiles - both of which equally melt my heart.

You have elevated me, and everyone else around you, to a new and better plane.  Your simple presence - and eminent wisdom behind those wide blue eyes - make us all better people.  I have been told stories upon stories of how you - you tiny little thing - have inspired people to become better parents, better spouses, better friends.  Better People.  How you and your strength are lending strength to a woman who has recently lost everything - her home, her husband.  You, Baby Girl, help her get out of bed in the morning.  And she hasn't even met you.

That may be one of my favorite things to do with you.  Introducing you to people who have heard of the famous Quinn Linzer, but who haven't previously met you.  How you manage to surprise - no, shock - them every time.  How they hear of this "poor, sick little baby" and expect to basically find a blob in cute human form.  And then there you are, with your grins, your bored looks, your playful demeanor, your old soul.  And they are astounded.  And I swear we both giggle a little bit on the inside, complete with a shared knowing look.  They should be astounded.  You're pretty freaking amazing.

A First Birthday letter should contain promises of what's to come, mention all the fun things expected in the next year.  Sweet baby, I can make no such promises.  This will, very likely, be the only birthday letter I get to write to you while you are here, sleeping right above me.

What I can promise is that we're going to continue treasuring you, every single minute - every single second - we get with you.  We're going to laugh with you and stand on our heads to make sure you laugh with us.  And we're going to love you - we're going to love the hell out of you, Little Girl.  Because you deserve nothing less, and so much more.

So like I end every night laying with you in your bed, I will close this letter.

I love you so so much.  Thank you for picking me to be your mommy.

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl!

I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be


  1. happy birthday quinn!

    the linzer r all amazing! i hope everything will be very very beautiful for u in the future..

    loves from turkey!

  2. Dear Linzer family we love you. I wrote on other comments but when I saw your letter and read are just amazing mother of amazing girl which is such a beautiful. When I wrote it I could not stop myself and cried. But I know that God with you and he can do everything I belive believe that Quinny will be the miracle of the Lord. Please contact me I have Quinns presents. Happy Birthday lovely sweet Quinny. We love you so much baby girl. From Turkey- ESKISEHIR

  3. Happy Birthday Baby Quinn! You are so beautiful! This picture melts my heart!!!

  4. OH Eileen, your letter could not be more loving. We are all so lucky to get a glimpse into Quinn's life with her beautiful family. Every word you wrote was pureness and love and joy, I loved reading it. Thank you for sharing. sending Quinn a million birthday wishes from us here in CAmbodia. so much love, Chelsea

  5. Chelsea has said it all! And I will echo her thanks for allowing us to get to know and love your whole family. I think that picture of you and Quinn will be in my heart forever. Much love! xoxo

  6. This is the most beautiful post Eileen. Your love for Quinn is a love only a mother could feel. It is breathtaking. Happy birthday sweet girl. Thank you or sharing her with us. Lots of love and hope always, xoxo s

  7. Happy Birthday Quinn! You are so amazing, precious, beautiful, tough, inspiring... There are not enough words to describe how awesome you are! I hope you have a wonderful day with your family. Mrs. Linzer - Thank you for sharing your letter with us. It's beautiful and so full of love. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again - thank you for sharing Quinn with all of us too. I’m one of those people you wrote about. I have never met you or your family but I’m inspired by you and Quinn every day. I think about Quinn often - her smile melts my heart and she reminds me to enjoy the little things in life and not take people for granted. She’s an amazing gift. I hope you all have a wonderful day together. Happy Birthday Quinn!!

  8. Such a beautiful picture...she radiates joy!

  9. you are a lucky mommy, but make no mistake.....Quinn hit the lottery when she was given an amazing set of parents and some awesome brothers. I wish you the precious moments that are Quinn's short life and I wish you the memories that will carry you through the rest of your life. Unfair does not even begin to given a meaning to what you and your beautiful family are going through.....I am in awe of you all!

  10. Happy Birthday sweet girl! I'm thinking Quinn had a lovely day at the Nunley's Carousel if I'm correct. I can't even believe the strength of you & your girl (well, your whole family really).

    Much love,
    Erin :)

  11. happy birthday sweet girl! thank you blessing us all with your light.

  12. That was such a beautiful letter. Happy Birthday sweet Quinn! You and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers

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  14. Thank you for sharing your story. For sharing beautiful, strong, amazing Quinn with us. Your family is what true, unconditional love is. You remind us all to savor each moment, and not to take anything for granted. I cannot imagine how hard your days can be, but I do believe this; Quinn's days are what many can only dream of. Days that are filled with love, cuddles, security, dedication. You are doing an amazing job. Please know that there are so many that keep all of you in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. Happy Birthday Quinn!

  15. Happy Birthday sweet girl! My youngest turned 1 on the 11th and I am in awe of your strength as a Mother everyday.

  16. You are an inspiration, happy birthday all the way from Australia beautiful Quinn.

  17. If you have been trying to come up with pineapple tart decorating ideas, there are many options to consider. If you want to make a cake for a child's birthday, you should make sure it is unique! Kids love birthdays (mainly because of the presents) but also because of the cake and ice cream! Instead of just buying the typical cake at the store, you can create your own special cake.