Mia Rose, today you are 5 years old. Not until 10:50pm, though. I remember the day well. The minute.
For some reason I have this distinct memory of being so flustered that I didn’t know what to say right when you were born. Of all the things to worry about (6 people staring at my vajayjay, blood, stitches, having eaten nothing but ice chips for the past 15 hours) I was for some reason panicked about the first words you would hear earthside.
I had read some hippy dippy book about natural birth and one of the tenants was to have the entire room silent during your emergence so that the first words you heard were something meaningful.
Of course all of my natural birth plans had already been abandoned hours before, and the doctor was busy talking to me about how to effectively stretch my hoo-ha and the nurses were talking about the intern who was still recovering from having to put his entire hand inside my vagina.
So it shouldn’t have mattered anyway but I was so worried.
“I love you” I blurted out. “I love you Mia Rose.”
Normally I have a way with words but It was the best I could do with all the drugs I was on.
It’s funny that that’s what I remember most about your birth. But it’s fitting. Every day since then I’ve felt a similar way.
Worried that I would say the wrong thing. That I already messed everything up. That I’m doing this all wrong.
And I might be.
But despite me, or in spite of me or maybe, just maybe because of me – you are incredible.
You are curious and outgoing.
Cautious yet determined.
You are competitive.
So freaking competitive. And a natural performer.
You are strong, beautiful, stubborn and smart.
You are easily frustrated, obstinate and confrontational. Sassy and stinging – especially when you’re right.
You are observant and athletic. Naturally talented at almost everything you try. You push boundaries – both mine and your own, and it’s hard to fault you for that.
Watching you grow and stretch your wings is truly the greatest gift as a mother. Every day you surprise me – and I live for the moments I can make you laugh, gasp, find joy in something new.
But motherhood is also terrifying because the stakes are so high – and I’m not sure I’m that much smarter than you. Not for long anyway.
I hope someday you get to experience it. The indescribable joy and frustration and panic and overflowing, overwhelming, unimaginable sensation of loving someone so much it literally hurts.
I know that I am not a perfect mother. I don’t always say the right things. But when I’m unsure of what to say, or what to do, I try to remember the moment you were born.
“I love you. I love you Mia rose.”
It was the first thing that came to my mind because it is the truest, most unfiltered, and unquestionable thing there is.
When you’re all grown up and reminiscing with your friends about your inevitably fucked up childhood – I hope you remember that.
It’s the one thing I can always say and never be wrong. The answer to everything, no matter the question.
If I don’t get anything else right as a parent just know this.
I love you.
I love you Mia Rose.