I remember well the day we decided to have you, because we were at a Bruce Springsteen concert. We had been going over and over in our heads whether or not to have children for several years. During the tailgate I voiced out loud for the first time that my largest con, and biggest fear, was that I just wouldn’t be very good at the whole motherhood thing. In the end, we decided that fear did not outweigh the desire to make our family a reality.
We went through a lot to have you. There were weekly trips to Boston IVF, fertility meds, needles, frustration and tears. I’ll never forget the day I sat there for 20 minutes trying to inject a needle into my own abdomen. Even with the promise of you, and the screaming in my head that it was simply mind over matter, I just couldn’t get my hand to take the plunge. We were lucky though, it wasn’t long before you were on your way.
You came two weeks early; a week before my scheduled c-section. As I lay in the hospital and was prepped for surgery, the awesome truth that you were coming became so overwhelming I openly sobbed in fear. But then, less than 45 minutes later, you were here. And you knew me as well as I my heart knew you.
The first day we took you home, it took us an hour to get out of the hospital because we couldn’t figure out how to work your infant car seat. When we finally made it through our front door, your daddy took a drive to purchase my prescriptions. Truly alone with you for the first time, I just sat there staring at you, still in your seat. Unmoving, I watched you sleep, fully aware of the fact that I didn’t have the slightest idea of what to do next.
Whether it was nature, practice, trial and error, I don’t know, but we found our way. You were a beautiful infant, so happy, and a blissfully heavy sleeper. I prided myself that your ability to sleep through the night by three months of age must have been due to my masterful motherhood skills. Your brother’s inability to sleep through the night until 18 months of age put me straight in my place. We were lucky.
It’s been four years since that first day we met. You’re looking less and less like a baby, or even a toddler. I’m not sure exactly when it happened, but you’ve become a little girl. You’re tall and thin, active, funny, smart, and unbelievably inquisitive. You’re also stubborn, strong willed, challenging, and at times even obstinate. Sometimes we are at war, and it blows me away that I am truly in a struggle of wits with my own small child. There are moments when I think you might actually be winning, and though it drives me crazy, I inwardly applaud your tenacity. Because, there’s no denying it Sweet Pea, you are just like me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also tell you that you are so very kind, loving, gentle, and a great big sister. You certainly have your moments of jealously or unwillingness to share, but most days you love to play with your little brother, and it is so very clear that he simply adores you.
On this day, this very special day, this one and only day when you turn four, I celebrate every ounce of laughter, tears, sighs, gasps, screams, pride, worry, hope, fear, and immeasurable joy you have brought to our lives.
That day, that concert, that decision that we made…it was the most important and best decision of my life. I am so thankful it brought me to you.
Happy 4th Birthday Sofia.