Happy 8th Birthday Bug Bug.Mr. B, here is your beautiful baby girl.
My dad would say this to me EVERY birthday. I’m not exaggerating. I was born 10 year after my sister, and it wasn’t customary to hand the baby to the father so early; so when my parents had me and my dad held me for the first time, this phrase was forever burned into his mind.
My due date was October 16th. The four days following my due date were excrutiating. I wanted to meet you so bad Ashlynn. Each day passed and you still didn’t come.
It was a Monday night football game on the 19th of October, 2009. I was having Braxton hicks contractions like I had had all month, but this time I was distracted by the Bronco game! I paced up and down the hallway trying to forget the pain as I cheered on our home team.
When the game ended, the contractions were intense but erratic. Being my first baby, I didn’t know if I should go in or not. I finally called the on call doc who said to come in. Your dad took me to the hospital in a big and burly blue Dodge Ram. The ride was anything but smooth, and each bump brought pain.
After laboring from 11:00 PM on Monday to 8:00 AM on Tuesday, you were born. I can remember the exact moment. I can remember the smell of the room, the blue of the cover, the humanity in the anesthesiologist, and then the moment I saw you. They raised you up above the cover and I stared at the most beautiful wrinkled sight of red pink skin and tears I had ever seen. My eyes streamed with tears and so did your dads.
Our baby had been born to us.
I have always found it funny since that day, Tuesday, October 20th, 2009, that your birthday was your happiest day. I mean, I hope it is, and I will do everything I can do to make sure it is. But, your birthday, and the birthday of your brother; were two of the most happiest days of MY life.
Today is Thursday. I am tired. It’s been a long week. However, every birthday since we’ve lived in this house, I have hung balloons in our hallway for you to pass through on your birthday. I thought about not doing it, but then I thought, you and your brothers birthdays were the happiest days of MY LIFE. Losing sleep is a small price to pay to celebrate the happiest day of one’s life.
So I stayed up and blew up the balloons and I hung them in the hall. I watched old videos and smiled until tears flowed from my eyes. I can’t believe you are 8 years old. I can’t believe just a few short years ago life was so hard that my mantra was “the days are long but the years are short.” Here we are. The days were long and I blinked and you are 8 and when I blink again you will be 16.
I’m so blessed to be your mother. I want you to know I am ALWAYS proud of you. Your friendliness undeniable, your determination unstoppable, and your spirit, unparalleled.
Behind your name are a countless number of diagnoses, but they do not and never have defined you. You have learned to overcome. You have learned to press on. You have learned happiness is found in simplicity. You have learned that the secret to life is gratitude, and despite all of your challenges, I couldn’t be prouder.
Happy Birthday “bug bug.” I love you more than words could ever, ever say; and trust me, this writer usually has a lot to say.