Yesterday you turned 10 years old. I have a very hard time believing that ten whole years have passed since you entered my world and changed my life. You're growing up so fast now, but at the same time it seems that just yesterday you were a year and a half old, quoting the whole entire book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie in your squeaky little baby voice as if you yourself were the author . And it seems that maybe the day before that you were that tiny, dark-skinned, black-headed indian papoose that spit up all over everything, all the time.
Your daddy and I were so stunned to find out that we were pregnant with you. The doctor had told us to give up and to look into adoption. We found out we were pregnant with you the Saturday before an appointment with an adoption agency in Tulsa. I had bought a pregnancy test and hadn't told your father. I was feeling strange and queasy, but didn't want to get his hopes up, so I kept it a secret. I didn't hardly sleep the night before and finally at 5am I got up, took the test in the bathroom and when the two pink lines showed up telling me that I was pregnant I thought I was still asleep and dreaming! I ran into the bedroom, jumped on top of your sleeping father and shook him until he woke up. I said, "Are you ready to be a daddy?" He looked at his watch then closed his eyes and said, "Not at 5 in the morning, I'm not." Then his eyes flew open and he said, "Are you sh*ttin' me?" Your dad always has had a way with words. We waited as long as we could and at 6am we called your Grammy to give her the news. Then we told YaYa. I don't think there was a happier family that day.
I won't bore you with the details of my pregnancy with you, but I will say that I barfed a lot. It's no wonder you spit up so much when you were a baby - you learned it before you were born.
The first time I held you will forever remain one of my most wonderful memories, along with the first time I held your brother and sister. Dr. Schooler laid you on my chest and I couldn't hold back the tears. You were perfect. You remain perfect to this day - perfect in my eyes. No, you're not flawless - you backtalk, you roll your eyes and sometimes you're clumsy (Okay, more than sometimes...), but still Abby-girl, you are perfect.
You were an amazing baby. You hardly ever cried. Really. If you cried it was serious and you were either very sick or hurt. You were always happy, always smiling and you were such an amazing joy to me. You still are. No one was a stranger to you in your little baby world. You smiled at everyone and jabbered at them like they were a long-lost friend that you hadn't seen in ages. Every day was a complete wonder to you and to me as well. I am so blessed to have been able to stay home with you. I can remember sitting in the floor with you one afternoon when you were about 5 months old, watching you destroy and eat a newspaper and I was in awe of you. Every part of you, everything about you amazed me - your little round baby head, your pudgy little toes, your ability to eat ink and paper like a little machine and the fact that it made you so deliriously happy.
You've always loved books. Of course, you weren't home from the hospital more than an hour before your daddy was reading Goodnight Moon to you. You memorized If You Give a Mouse a Cookie because we read it to you over and over. And over. And over. We were overjoyed when they came out with If You Give a Moose a Muffin, but you didn't seem to be as excited as we were. We never could get you to buy into that one. Now that you're bigger you've moved past reading about rodents and their love of dessert and have graduated to the adventures of Harry Potter and the Babysitter's Club. If we haven't seen you around the house in awhile we know where to find you - curled up on your bed with a book in your face. I love that about you. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to see you reading and loving it so much. You definitely take after me in this respect. Let's just hope you don't get my big butt, too.
As you got older you became more timid and that timidity still lingers in you. You've come out of your shell a lot in the last year alone, but there are still times that the shy little girl makes an appearance. It's hard for me to help you with those shy moments, because I'm not sure I've ever had one, but I'm trying to understand. Although yesterday when Too Slim from Riders in the Sky asked you to stand up so they could sing Happy Birthday to you, you jumped right up and actually looked like you enjoyed standing in the spotlight while 500 or so people looked at your smiling face. I think you're just growing up.
Your daddy didn't want you to be a foo-foo girl, so when you were littler you wore a lot of camo and played with a lot of trucks. But you still had your girlie moments - those were the times we found you wearing dress-up high heels and carrying a purse full of Hot Wheels. Or pushing Barbie around in a dump truck while wearing a feather boa. You have your own way of doing things. You're not one to go with the crowd and as a parent I'm ecstatic about this. I know that sometimes it's hard to be the one not doing what the rest of the group is doing, but I applaud you for not giving in. You're strong, Abby. You've always been strong. You amaze me.
You have an incredible sense of humor, babe. That, paired with your sense of self, will take you far. There are a lot of adults who never master the art of sarcasm, but you, my dear, had a handle on it by the time you were 9. You can rattle off a witty remark quicker than I can and you always manage to do it with such a deadpan look that you crack me up. I totally blame your YaYa for honing your sarcastic skills and if it ever gets you in trouble, call her. She's a pro. You learned from the best.
You're growing up, Abby-girl. You're becoming such a young lady with so much to offer. You're smart, you're beautiful and you're funny. There are mornings that you come out of your room, ready for school and I'm absolutely speechless and stunned at how much you've grown up in the last few months. Your long legs and big brown eyes are two things that I would've given anything to have when I was a kid. I know sometimes you wish you were short and that you had green eyes, but trust me kid, you're just right. Just right.
The world has changed so much since I was a kid. The changes in your school last week prove it. It's not always a pleasant place and not always the kindest place, but Abby if you ever get down, scared, get discouraged or confused you can come to me. I'll always love you no matter what. I may not always like what you do and I may even yell at you from time to time, but that will never change the depth and intensity of my love for you.
I've always known I wanted to be a mom. From the time I was a little girl I knew that being a mommy was the perfect job for me, but I had no idea just how amazing it was going to be until I had you.
Happy 10th birthday, my baby punkin.