One year ago, we had an ice storm. The world was cold and miserable. I went to bed exhausted, having dealt with weeks of excruciating false labor, and an emotional weekend arguing with the hospital about their failure to do the induction as planned. I laid there and listened to the wind, hearing tires crackle through the sheet of ice outside. At last I slept, feeling your feet kicking inside.
At three am my water broke. In the media, a woman says in surprise, “My water broke!” which no sign of any actual water. They lie. I was stunned by the deluge. I left the house wrapped in garbage bags and towels. When we arrived at the hospital, we discovered the main door was locked, so I waddled around the building to the ER entrance, leaving a trail that froze the bag to my clothes. The world looked like it was made of crystal, and by then the wind was still.
Once inside, I waited. I was so excited, and so calm. Finally, I’d get to see your face, hear your voice, hold your hand. All of the doctors were late due to the ice, but they made it. It was all very pleasant due to the epidural, and I chatted with family and friends. I watched the snow turn to freezing rain, and that ice remained. Finally, at three in the afternoon, you were ready. In fact, I only pushed for ten minutes, because the nurse stopped me–the doctor barely made it! You came out then as you face everything now: eager and ready to take on the world. You were, and always have been, remarkably calm; very little upset you, so long as we were together.
At that moment, when they laid you in my arms, someone said, “Hey, look! The sun is out!” So it was, breaking through the storm clouds, sending shimmering light across those frosted branches. The world sparkled when you were born. From then on, you were our Sunshine Girl.
We gave you your name then. Your Japanese name is colorful summer, your father’s favorite season, and fitting to a girl who brings the sun. Your middle name means laughter, lively, bright. Your father wanted you to remember to smile. You’ve lived up to it every day.
I love you so much. I love your wild curly hair and dark, deep eyes. I love how you scream with laughter when your sister chases you, or when I pick you up to dance. I love how when I have a terrible day, I sit down on the floor, and you come over and sit in my lap and hug me. I love that you spin in circles when you get excited. I love that your security object is a plastic chicken leg. I love that you kiss your sister when she cries. I love that you toddle to the door to greet your father when you hear the garage door go up. I love watching you sit quietly with books, cuddle your dolls, and dig in the sand outside. I love how you sneak to the refrigerator and squeal with delight when you take out the bottles. You go on adventures with me, snuggle with me, laugh with me, and amaze me with your ability to see how new and incredible the world really is. I see in you laughter, love, life and hope.
Happy birthday, Baby A, my Sunshine Girl.