Darlin' Izzy B,
Why do you feel you have to remind me of your birthday coming so soon?
Is it because I forgot Bluebird's? Is it because you think if we cut my brain open it would be a tangled mess of everything but the most important?
Or, is it, deep down in the deeper, that you are still the silly little girl full of excitement that climbed the doors like coconut trees? That feated up when you were hot and touched my cheek when you told stories?
Or, maybe, deep down in the deepest, you are growing up quickly right before my eyes and can't wait to get there? Yes.
It was the day before you were to be born. She walked into the largest of the baby suites - the one they had set me up in because I was to be there so long, the one big enough for your sisters to bring sleeping bags and stay with me at night, the one you would be born in - and she looked at my iv.
It needs changing again. There's no place left to put it but your neck or foot.
I probably cried. I was tired. I could not wait for you to get here. Could this pregnancy get much worse? It all began the day I passed out in the dressing room of Limited Too and your Uncle Markie scooped me up and carried me to the waiting ambulance.
When a tear was found in my gallbladder and there was nothing they could do but wait for you to come. When every bite made me sick and I slept with a bowl by my bed just in case I couldn't make the bathroom. When your big sister was so afraid she slept right at my side.
She held off on the iv change and less than 24 hours later they made me so comfortable I never felt a moment's pain and you brought more than just a new baby girl into our lives. You brought joy and happiness matched only by the two before you and you were mothered by three and they were bigger mama lions than I was.
To know you is to love you. And I'm so glad you are back. Back from that dark place that held you in fright - but could not keep you because of our God bigger than dark or fright or uncertainty.
You work hard and do everything I ask - as long as we leave your bedroom out of the picture. You change diapers and wash dishes and fold clothes and cook supper and dig clothes from behind the dryer and climb the cabinets I can't reach and text all my words and never ask for anything in return.
You put the music in your ears and help your daddy and can I tell you there aren't many out there who would do it with such a sweet and understanding attitude?
You don't complain and only occasionally pout and my only complaint is how long it takes you to get ready and that you've got me obsessed with Downton Abbey.
So, my little sack of baby bones, I haven't forgotten your birthday and there is more than a tangled mess in my brain and you are not a silly little girl but a beautiful young woman and people have much worse pregnancies and even though they don't always show it the two joys before you still ache to rock you and would plant a sleeping bag next to you at any moment you needed them.
And fourteen years later I have never felt a moment's pain from you and when I do - because it will come - never forget that to know you is to love you.
And I love you the most.