posted by on 01/15/2010 | 108 comments (leave one of your own)

Dear Zoe,

When I was pregnant with you, people would always ask if I wanted a boy or a girl. I said without a doubt that I would like a boy. Girls are trouble; girls are drama.

A few weeks before you born, I had a dream. In that dream, a baby stood in front of a fireplace and turned and smiled at me. I would find out once you were here that the baby had your exact face. The baby was you.


After five hours of pushing and with the help of forceps, you were born. And, of course, a girl. I had never even changed a diaper or held a newborn until you. To say I had no idea what I was doing is an understatement.


We had our fair share of problems. When you were fresh on the scene you refused to eat, which forced me to have meetings with a breast pump every 30 minutes around the clock. For three weeks. You wouldn’t sleep alone, so I had to lie down with you just to have you wake up when I tried to sneak out of bed. You made numerous scenes in public, so much so that we couldn’t go out to eat for a year. You were that baby.


Eventually that baby turned into my child, my very strong spirited child. When you were three, I enrolled you in ballet class, envisioning you on stage in a puffy skirt with other girls twirling and twirling. Twenty minutes into the first class, you walked out, took my hand and said, “This sucks, let’s go”. And to be honest, the class did suck. The instructor spent the entire twenty minutes trying to line up 13 three year olds in a straight line. I could feel the rest of the mothers eyes on me as I gathered your things and tried not to laugh.


This morning, I asked you what your wish was . Without missing a beat, you told me your wish was to learn to drive. I think about how quickly these nine years have gone by, how soon enough you will be driving, and it makes me quickly catch my breath.


My wish is that you just be you. It’s hard to grow up, to figure things out on your own, but I know that you will do just fine.


Nine years from now, you won’t need me like you do this very instant. I can’t help but think that as of today, the job that you hired me to do is half over. Maybe, just maybe, if I can raise you in a somewhat correct manner, we will have something similar. Same us, still mother and daughter, but it will be different. Perhaps we will be friends.


And I can’t wait.

Happy 9th Birthday, sweet girl.


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