When I had you I was terrified. The hospital nurses actually wrote, failure to bond in our chart. I was so sure I was going to fail you. Or worse, hurt you. You were an emergency c-section because (and I quote a doctor here) my body wasn't meant to survive childbirth. I thought that meant I wasn't supposed to be a mom.
In all honesty you were all I needed. You taught me how to be a mom. Not a perfect mom by any means. I did not think I had the love, patience or endurance for another child. You wanted a little sister so badly. You even had an imaginary friend whose name was simply "imaginary baby sister".
Then there was Boo. From the beginning you at just five years old were my rock. You, my dear sweet child, showed me that I was strong enough to handle two daughters. You, my sarcastic truth-teller were there to keep things in perspective. You, my great educator taught others how to care for Boo.
The time you told Dawn that Boo couldn't have peanut butter because she was allergic to dairy. The time you told a teacher that Boo was perfect, she was just in the hospital. When you taught a friend that being having a sister with a "funny pattern in her brain" just means that your sister takes a little longer to learn things. The countless times you practiced "I LOVE YOU" with Boo never knowing that is my secret desire for her to tell us she loves us.
You, Abby, are my hero. I wish I had your grace, your patience and your sense of self. You are confident in ways I can only strive to be at 40+ years. Your imagination astounds me. You are so brave, trying things that would normally terrify me. You are your father in the ways that make me love him. And in the ways that make me want to strangle him. You have an old-world soul mixed with a new-world outlook on life. You are me in the ways you are picky about eating food and in the way your sense of humor aligns with my own. You are so beautiful in your smile, your laughter and yes, your sarcasm.
On Saturday morning, I awoke exhausted. I lay in bed and listened to Boo over the monitor at 6:30 am. She was gleefully calling your name. As I
Mom I'll do a lot of things but I won't take care of that!
That afternoon you received your first phone call from a classmate. You went on your first ever sleep over where I did not know the parent. I didn't sleep that night for another reason. I was worried of course. But also marveling over how quickly a decade has gone by. How the little baby I was terrified of now completes my heart in a way I never imagined. The house is empty without your presence. I am astounded by how you have grown into such a sweet young girl soon to be tween. The excitement in your voice when you called to say good night. This is the girl you would be, maybe, if you didn't have to tailor your life to your sister. Not that you complain, ever. But I promise you, I know the sacrifices you make for Boo. That you cannot join girl scouts, after school activities or miss birthday parties because we have Boo-centered appointments.
So thank you, my sweet Abigail. For being you. For giving me an extra hour of dozing. For giving me peace. For sharing your dreams. For giving Boo your unquestioning love. For just being your awesome self.
Keep living the dream, my Abby. When you obtain world domination this world will be a better place. I simply cannot wait to see the woman you will become.
PS you are still not getting a pony