It has been exactly 8 years since I heard the most beautiful words from your daddy. He said, "It's a girl. You got your girl." Exactly 8 years since I cried because I wanted a daughter so much. Exactly 8 years since I held you the first time and wondered, How is this all going to work out? Who are you, little stranger?
What an exciting adventure these last 8 years have been as we've found the answers together.
Okay, so the first two years were not our best work. We got off to a rocky start.
But we made it. All three of us. (Sort of miraculous because a few nights I remember looking at your screaming face at three in morning and thinking, "it's gonna be you or me, kid. One of us is goin' down.") I'm so glad I was wrong. Because you took a serious upswing around two and a half.
Cowgirl, you are a game-changer. You are a force of nature. You took two ordinary people and you transformed us into a family. When I review my life one the best moments I have ever known was introducing you to your little sister, because I knew that I was giving her a rare gift. I knew I could look at her and say, "You might only be a few minutes old, and you don't know what I am talking about, but you have the best sister a girl could want and that will mean something to you someday. It will mean everything."
And I was right. You prove me right beyond my wildest dreams every day.
I love you for your curiosity and your timidness. I love you for your need to hang upside down and your need to climb to the top.
I love you for the way you whisper, "I love you" at bedtime and the way you blow kisses all the way from the car door to the front door of your school when I drop you off.
I love the sound you make when you plunk on the piano and how you sing in the shower.
I love that you stuck with me through all this. Through our temper tantrums and our tears and our screaming (I really don't know which of us did those things more).
I love that you don't see my mess-ups. I love that you don't see the disabilities in anyone.
It's like you're so strong that it doesn't matter if anyone around you is weak. You will carry them.
Cowgirl, you are the smile on my heart that leaves happy dimples in my soul.
No matter how many times I rub my eyes, I still see it - this glow around you. Maybe mom eyes can see things no one else can, but you are so bright that sometimes it blinds me.
Thank you for not packing up and finding a family who deserves you more, because we need you the very most.
You are my capertillar, my bug, my wren bird, my pride and all my reasons.
I love you.