And just like that, you are 5! Our first born, our eldest, our daughter. I still remember the day I ran down the steps of our apartment building in Los Angeles to tell your daddy I was pregnant. It had all happened so quickly! I spent most of your pregnancy vomiting and though I tried for over 60 hours, you just wouldn’t come out the chute and so, on that Sunday night in July, they brought you into the world via the sun roof. You were huge, nearly 4.5kg and 56cm long. It seems both so long ago and also just like yesterday.
For two and a half years you had us to yourself and I am so grateful for that time with you. You won’t remember those times but I always will. How you loved Disneyland and your weekly music class but hated pureed food. How you couldn’t get enough of the pool at swimming and how determined you were to do everything by yourself, even if it meant you scared us half to death.
Addison, I am sorry that you sometimes had me at my worst. New to mothering, I flailed around trying to navigate this brave new world I’d entered. I was so inexperienced despite so much experience with kids. Like everyone, I thought I knew and I truly had no idea of the impact of a brand new life on me and my old life. I’m sorry I fumbled through different tactics and routines and that sometimes I just wanted you to step back so I could breathe. I wasn’t prepared for the massive need that a baby possesses and I know it took me some time to adjust. I’m sorry that I spent so much time stressed out over your sleep; to the point where we both sat crying as I couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t do what the book said and you couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t just pick you up and feed you off to sleep. The truth is, like you learning to live, we had to learn how to parent. Daddy and I, Addison, we are still learning. I know we sometimes don’t get things right and I know we sometimes expect too much of you. This is our problem to resolve and I’m trying little girl; I’m trying so hard to help you navigate this world without stepping on your toes or dimming your glow.
I’m sorry that I put you through 2 extremely difficult pregnancies. That I spent so much time away from you in the hospital and in my head. I’m sorry that when your world shifted with the arrival of Phoenix, I was too tired to provide as much support as I should have. I’m sorry it took me time to maneuver myself into the role of a mother of 3 and that sometimes I yelled at you and expected you to do more than you were capable of doing. Addison, thank you for loving your brothers so fiercely like you do. They are so lucky to have you as their big sister.
Addison, I know you have some challenges ahead of you. I know your sometimes unpredictable focus and constant chatter will cause concern for you as you enter big school next year. I promise I will do everything I can to assist you in this next step. I wish I could just lay down a smooth path for you as you navigate this crazy world. That I could shield you from the not so nice aspects of being alive. Instead I promise to advocate for you and support you as much as I can.
Addison, you are a smart, caring and sensitive soul. You have so much potential and so much goodness to give this world. You are funny and irreverent and assertive to the point of insanity. Today and every day, we wish you nothing but joy, laughter and love. Thank you for choosing us and for making us parents.
Addison, thank you for making me a Mother. It may be your birthday, but it was me who was given the bestest gift of all; you.
Happy Birthday Smushy, we love you.