[Author's note: This post was written in real time using my iPhone note pad on Sept. 20, 2013, a few minutes before Everley's first birthday and my 38th. I don't know why it's taken me so long to post it other than for a long time I wanted to write something different. Something longer maybe? More thought out? But in the end I like the spontaneity of this letter. To me it says everything that needs to be said.] Dear Everley, It's 11:40pm and you should be sound asleep but instead -- despite my best efforts to comfort you for the last 45 minutes -- you've been tossing around and crying out. In pain? In fear? From pure exhaustion? I don't know. I don't know why but I do know this, exactly one year ago today I was doing the exact same thing. In pain, in fear, from pure exhaustion. But in my case also with excitement and with joy. Because you were on your way. At 12:35am you arrived. And the relief I felt was instantaneous (at least until the stitching began). You were here. You were safe. You were beautiful. You were mine.
365 days later and I know I'm utterly blessed to be able to say the same. You are here, you are safe, you are beautiful, you are mine. And I am yours. Completely.
Please let me never forget these tiny toes.
I want to talk about this year. This crazy year we have had, you and I, but as I sit awake in my bed and listen to you cry from two rooms away, I just can't seem to find the words. Because what are the words that you use to describe the type of connection that you have with someone you have fed, nurtured, rocked, taught, played with, cried with, cleaned, soothed, held, moulded, laughed with, screamed at, snuggled, warmed, cooled, rocked, kissed and hugged and kissed some more? Every day. Every single day, 24 hours a day, for 365 days. How do you describe that with words? You don't. So I won't try. Instead I'll say this. Happy birthday Everley Read, my soul sister, sharer of birthdays and bringer of joy. I wish you would stop crying now. But if you can't, you know I will come to you, as I have every day for the past 365 days, and do my best to make it right.
Sharers of birthdays.
No matter what and forever and ever. I love you, Mommy