March 21, 2001 - twelve years ago at this time I was checking into St. John Westshore. I was both excited and petrified and really had no idea what to expect of the coming day.
My water had broken at 3:30 that morning and I was about to meet my little girl! It was a long day and life sure looked different back then. So much hadn't happened yet and the world still had that innocence that only youth can give it. My youth and innocence. My family still bore some semblance of a family, 9/11 hadn't happened yet and I was about to have the little girl I always wanted!
You took your time getting here but once you did, you came into it with a vengeance with a head full of hair and healthy lungs. You were the tiniest thing I had ever seen weighing a whole 5 pounds 13 ounces and your poor face looked like Rocky as you had settled into position head down three months before you made your appearance - and you rested your hand on your now bent and bruised nose. But I loved you instantly. I became a totally different person that day and I knew there was nothing I wouldn't do for you, to provide for and protect you. In the now twelve years that followed, you haven't left my side unless you had to and you have taught me so much more than I expected.
I know I don't always tell you, Gabbie, all the perfect, right things I should say. I know I am always burning the candle at both ends and, sometimes, that isn't fair to you. But there are things I need you to know today, on your twelfth birthday, the eve of your teenage years.
I wanted you from the time I knew anything I wanted. I always wanted to be a mama and I always wanted a little girl. When I was pregnant with you, before we knew you *were* a girl, I wouldn't let anyone refer to you as anything but a girl lol. And when that ultrasound tech told me she was 85% sure you were a girl because you slept through our ultrasound and kept your legs closed tightly, I found a place that did ultrasounds for purpose of fun and we confirmed you were indeed a little girl.
You have made me laugh, you have made me cry, you have frustrated me to the nth degree. Above all these things, darling, you have made me proud. You are so smart and driven and determined and beautiful... you have a heart of gold for others and I love seeing that. I know you have given up so much for your brother and I can never repay that time to you but the love he has for you is irreplacable and something I love to see. I know this life hasn't been the fairy tale most kids around you have but know there is nothing I wouldn't do for you. If anyone has your back, kid, it is me and I always will be there.
I wish you a lifetime of love and excitement and challenges. I know you will go on to do great things, I have no doubt, whatever you choose to do. The drive you show me tells me you will have the same hard head your mother does - know that is a blessing and a curse and that you have to learn to control it. I can't wait to see what the next 12 years bring us and I know, because I know, that there is nothing our little family can't do together. Your brother and I love you to the moon and back and I hope you feel that everyday, even the bad days.
You are the best daughter I could have gotten, far better than I ever imagined or probably even deserve. Have a GREAT twelfth birthday love - xoxoxo
Love, Mom and Will