My girl, Happy 4th Birthday to You! I didn’t know about you the day you were born. I wasn’t there to welcome you into the world, and to see you take your first breath of Earthly air. I didn’t greet your sweet face with a gasp of joy. My arms were not the first ones to hold you. I didn’t hear your first cry or witness the doctor say how precious you were. I didn’t feed you your first bottle, change your first diaper, or pick out your first garment. I didn’t lock you safely in your car seat and drive you home to your first crib. Our home was not your first one, but our family is yours forever.
Your first year was so special. I celebrated your first taste of real food, your first embraces, your first steps, your first words, and, of course, your first birthday. I cared for your first boo-boos and scared away your first fears. I bought several pink outfits for the first time. There were many firsts that you only had with me. No, I wasn’t there for your first breath of Earthly air, but I was there for your first year.
Your second year came so quickly. I listened as your vocabulary took off and saw how your shy spirit took a backseat to your ever-emerging confident self. I noticed that your first friend was your brother. You were not quite two when our adoption was finalized. I penned your new name for the first time! I took you on your first “girl’s day” shopping spree, and tucked you into your first big girl bed. No, I wasn’t there for your first breath of Earthly air, but I was there for your second year.
Year three seemed to fly by so fast. You learned to dress yourself, and I laughed at some of your first outfits you pulled together. I took you to your first dentist appointment and applauded at how well you brushed your teeth. You and I squealed with excitement at your first tube ride behind papa’s boat. I noticed how quickly you learned to spell your name for the first time. I was amazed at how easily you seemed to pick up on your first numbers and other preschool lessons. I took you to your first dance recital, and wiped tears away while watching you twirl on the stage. No, I wasn’t there for your first breath of Earthly air, but I was there for your third year.
Here we are at the start of another year of life together. How many firsts will we discover this year? I may not have been there to watch you take your first breath of Earthly air, but I am here now. We are here now. I love you so much daughter, and thank the Lord for gracing us with the blessings of you and your four years of firsts.