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.
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