I remember feeling alone and inadequate. I remember feeling I was not enough when I was all she ever wanted.
I remember feeling gifted and humbled and unprepared.
I remember feeling surprised, enthralled, and experiencing a searing love so different than I had ever felt before.
Thank you, Mom, for holding her when I needed my arms for myself.
Thank you, Dad, for having the calm tone of voice and patient way about you to give her the break from my energy.
Thank you, Grandma, for being at the ready the whole first year of her life when you were near by, and for recognizing her spunk so you could both celebrate her and pat my hand in understanding.
Thank you to my best friend who shhhussshed, shhhussshed, shhhussshed her by the screen door so I could run about and get things done. Thank you for loving her as if she was your own.
Thank you, Colleen, for being the best and most caring person and sister with whom she could grow.
Thank you, Brendan, for knowing how she will feel about things, and for being her little brother so that she can be your big sister.
Thank you to all of her Aunts and Uncles who know just how to love her and hug her and support her as she grows. Seeing her as remarkable as she is.
Thank you to her cousins, and in particular, one cousin who is a kindred spirit without their realizing.
Thank you to all who have taught her, who have coached her, and who have hugged her when I was not available.
Thank you to her friends who are kind and funny. Who are such good people. I am excited to watch them grow with my child.
Thank you to her dad who holds all the patience when needed. Who shares her genetic make-up to such a degree that he can fill in the gaps where I have lost all understanding. Who supports every geekness that peeks out of her since The Brains have inherited the Earth.
Thank you to Cookie Von Nummins who, not that we are saying this out loud, has chosen her human and will stand by her human as long as she is able.
Thank you for helping to create a girl who knows she is strong, believes that she is right, and sees every bump in the road as a challenge rather than an obstacle.
You have made her boundless, as she was meant to be.