Okay, somebody pinch me.

Wake me up?

Tell me it’s not happening?


Well then, I guess then it’s true. I will have a six year old daughter tomorrow. Six. I can hardly believe it.

When she turned five, I thought, oh, she’s still so small. She’s still my baby. Protected by the cocoon of preschool and home.

But six. Six seems like a stepping stone to the next level of growing up.

Learning and understanding more about herself and the world.

Being a big sister.

Losing her first tooth and then two more. I love her smile with her missing front tooth.

Beginning her journey through the elementary school years.

Meeting her best friends and valuing the specialness that only great girlfriends can give you.

Continuing the long days of running in the park, sharing secrets, and climbing trees.

Enjoying the explosion of creativity that surrounds her daily through her art and play.

Developing a newly discovered love of math. Learning to read.

Each night piling her bed with stuffed animals, carefully surrounding herself with the a big hug of fluffy friends. Christmas lights still twinkling on her ceiling.

Asking questions about everything, fueled even more when the answer create more questions.

Loving her family. Expressive in her emotions. Dramatic.

I carried her for forty plus weeks. Thirty-two hours of labor until I finally delivered her. In awe of her when they laid her on my chest. An unforgettable moment in time, enveloped in emotions I had never felt before. A love deeper and more complex than I had ever known. Overwhelmed in joy, but exhausted in my efforts. She was my first masterpiece.

Happy Birthday to my sweet, smart, and beautiful Ava.

May you always appreciate the beauty of our planet.

May you always challenge the world around you.

May you always be learning.

May you always create beautiful art to share with others.

Be happy. Be silly. Laugh.

Love and be loved.

And when you blow out your candles, know how much your mommy loves you.

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