Hello, my little one.
Two nights ago, I read to you, "On the Night You Were Born," to celebrate the anniversary of the night I labored to bring you here. You cried after it was over, and you said, "That made me so sad. I love it, but what if someone in my class doesn't have this book and they don't know how special they are?!"
You, Daphne, are special. You see how special everyone else is, too.
I held you in my arms that night, and I told you about the night you were born. I told you how I tried so hard to have a natural, normal birth. You cringed when I mentioned the scar on my tummy, and the next day, you told me not to talk about it again. I told you how your Dad Jon got to see you before I did, and he gave you a bath and helped measure you with the nurses. Your Grandma and your Great-Grandma watched through a window and marveled at you. When he finally brought you to me, you were wrapped up like a burrito, a hat on your gorgeous hair. I looked at you and held out my arms eagerly, and you looked back at me, your eyes clearly saying to mine, "Oh, there you are!"
I held you in my arms, and I sang the only songs I have ever known by heart, the songs I have sang to you your whole life. "Silent Night" and "O' Little Town of Bethlehem" soothed you to sleep and I didn't want to leave your bed, so I kissed your peaceful forehead and held you some more.
You woke up, and you were six-years-old!
I gave you a birthday bear from Sister Andrea, who gave it to me months ago in anticipation of your precious day. You loved it, you said how your favorite part was that the bear's mouth moves while it sings and how fuzzy and snuggly it is.
Now that we are in these school years, you turned six and were able to celebrate with a class full of first graders. You brought cookies but not cupcakes because Brighton's birthday is the exact same day, and his mom brought cupcakes instead. When you came home, I gave you some new chapter books for a present and your Great-Grandparents took us out to dinner. You ate pancakes and the waitress gave you a free piece of chocolate cream cake. You could only eat a few bites of the cake, but you were so excited to bring it home for later.
That's pretty typical, my love, you getting excited about chocolate and treats in general. Eating delicious things is one of your favorite things to do. I'm sorry I passed this on to you, because eating vegetables is so much better for us!
This past year, you grew so tall. You hover above my hipbone now. We cut your hair for the first time in July; you were able to donate it to a company that makes wigs for patients who have cancer. You said you love looking like a completely different person, but honestly, I haven't noticed you really caring too much whether it was long or short. You do prefer how little it takes to comb through now, though!
Your sweet spirit continues to grow but your wicked sense of humor is even stronger. Dad Dave loves how you prank people (so do I! you're hilarious!), and he sees how you get some of your humor from him. I see traces of your Dad Jon in it, too. I guess both of your dads and you are funny, what can I say?
You are an exceptional reader, and this summer you got excited about math. You went to the pool and the lake with Dad Jon a lot, but you don't want to learn how to swim. I can see the tan lines from your suit still, but they remind me that you fell in the pool and felt like you were drowning. I encourage you to learn, so you will feel empowered, but you're stubborn like me, and you say no.
We visited Nana and Papa in Massachusetts earlier this year, and you said your favorite part was spending time with Nana. We took you to the Freedom Trail in Boston, where I carried you around like you were little and walked miles with you strapped to me. You're a little spoiled when it comes to things like this; I baby you, because you're my baby.
I had to leave you for two weeks this August, and I was so grateful to be home in time to celebrate this birthday with you. Nearly every time I FaceTimed you, you wept into the phone, and I had to stop calling you. Dad Dave said you were happy and good as long as you didn't see me. I made him FaceTime when you were asleep, so I could see your face every chance I could.
Oh, Daphne. You are so wonderful. I am so proud of the person you are becoming. You are caring. You are graceful. You started acting classes this year, and you said, "I don't like them. I LOVE THEM!" You are smart. You love God and other people. You are sensitive like me.
You had your first sleepover this summer, with Annalyn. I curled your hair and hers and painted your faces with my makeup. We made brownies, which the next day the two of you stole. I found you both in your pink, play tent, a pan full of brownies between you, fists shoving handfuls in your mouths, giggles erupting amidst the crumbs. You would have never stolen a pan of brownies, but she made you brave and it made you laugh.
The best part of your life is when you spend time socializing with other people. I wonder how Mrs. Flexter is going to keep you quiet this year. You thrive around people, often entertaining everyone around you. You twirl and dance and sing every where you go. You hate to sit still. I've never seen you sit still unless you are glued to the Kindle or TV.
Daphne, I love everything about you. I hope you always know. You are the best part of my life and both of your dads'. You are unique and beautiful. I cannot wait to see what's next for you this year.