Three years ago today, I entered the hospital a bloated, fat, waddling woman and left, several days later, a mother.
In those 1,095.75 days she has gone from She-Blob, to Otter, to Chicken Otter, to Booty, to Bean. She has grown 39 inches, learned to talk, and count, and feed herself. She's made friends. She's lost a grandfather. She's learned to count, and have picnics (at which she serves wine), to recognize letters, avoid potty training and get chocolate out of us. She is smart and feisty and frustrating and willful and the most amazing creature I've ever met, who owns my heart even on the days I'm at the end of my rope. She cracks me up with her jokes. She shocks me with her insights. She confuses and confounds me with her questions. I am in awe of her.
Long before she became, my mother told me that until I had a child of my own, I would never understand what it means to have one. That the way you love your child can never be predicted or replicated or even imagined. I didn't understand it then, but I do now - which is exactly as she told me it would be. I am both privileged and humbled by the awesome responsibility that is being her parent.
As you embark on the 4th year or you life Bean, I will tell you what I tell you every night: I adore you. Happy birthday.