For my daughter, on her birthday

For Gwen…

I nearly lost you.

Then you nearly lost me moments after you were born. The world went gray and hazy. The doctors had to tell your father to come look at how beautiful you were because he was afraid the first minutes with you would also be the last with me. You entered the world with the theme music to “Halloween” playing in the background, close to midnight.  I laugh about this now. My cell phone was ringing and your grandmother and aunt were both worried because it had been so very long since there’d been any update. And then when it was calm again, I got to hold you and stare into those dark eyes that already knew me.

Somehow, we came home from the hospital together, you looking very pink and promptly introduced to our pugs. I should’ve known that you would be a dog lover like me. I did not sleep the first two days that you lived in our home, not until your dad said I had to sleep. He stayed awake with you. The first movie you ever saw was “Rambo.” I also laugh about this.

You’re twelve now and pulling away. I’m excited to see who you’ve become. A writer. An artist. An astronomer. A chemist. A photographer. An equestrian. A figure skater. A musician. A Girl Scout. An acolyte. A niece. A cousin. A granddaughter. A daughter. A sister. A soul full of compassion.

Just when I think I couldn’t love you more, I do.

Happy birthday, my lovebug.

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