Ten years ago, I had my second daughter! It was early summer morning in Chicago and the labor was intense. I decided not to wake my husband and let him rest as much as possible because I knew I would need his strong presence during the most difficult part of labor. I ran a warm bath and I breathed through the contractions in the warm water, one by one. I welcomed each and every contraction because I knew that each contraction was one that I'd never have again. After I got out of the bath tub, I woke my husband and told him to get dressed because the contractions were four - five minutes apart. He rolled over, muttered a few words that didn't make sense and said clearly, "they need to be four-five minutes apart for an hour...and rolled back over as if he were resuming his dream–definitely not his finest moment! I told him that I had been having the contractions for an hour and before I could finish the sentence, my water broke! Needless to say, he jumped up and sped to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital, the contractions were extremely intense! My husband and the doctor were standing at the foot of the bed having a conversation - like I wasn't there. I told them that I had to push... and I'm still not quite sure why neither of them reacted. I pushed once because I couldn't control the feeling and all of a sudden the doctor starts to frantically put on his gear...and a few seconds and one additional push later, Ari was born. The labor and delivery were so easy.
That should've been my clue that the years to come would be as great with my middle daughter, as with my first daughter...and they have! Each year on my daughters' birthdays I tell them what I love about them. In true Ari form, the first thing she said when she woke up this morning was: "Are you still going to tell me the things you love about me?" Well of course, I am!
1. You are an amazing big sister! I've started to notice that when I
dress Ila, she's completely happy with her outfit...UNTIL you come
downstairs! If you wear a skirt, she wants to wear a skirt. If you
cook a meal, she wants to cook. If you read, she reads! If you wear
cowboy boots, she goes up to her room and sifts through all the shoes
until she finds her cowboy boots! Why? She does it all because she
loves you, adores you and wants to be just like you. She sees your
kindness, love and good nature and I am happy that she wants to emulate
2. You're a great friend. You're never get caught up in any girl drama. You know right from wrong and you stick to what we have taught you. Wherever you go, you make friends because your heart is in the right place. People respect you because of this and love being around you. If you were my age, you would be the kind of friend I would want.
3. You never give up! If
there's something that you are struggling with, you push yourself to be
better, even when it's really hard. This will take you a long way in
life. Your perseverance, dedication and hard work are second to none. I have no doubt that with your discipline, integrity and hard work, you will go far in life.
4. You are God-fearing. I like the fact that being God's child is always "cool" to you. You don't care who knows or who looks at you strangely. At the end of the day, you know that there is only person to whom you answer.
5. You always wake up early and I NEVER have to wake you up. It amazes me that I can walk into your room at 7am and your are always awake and almost always dressed. Keep this up and college and life will be a breeze! The early bird really does get the worm!
6. You make me want to learn more. You read so much that I
sometimes get nervous that one day (soon:), you will know more than me. I
can't tell you how many times I've googled a country, a museum, an odd fact or read an article or two
just so I'd be able to explain the concept to you!:) Who said that??:)
7. You respect authority figures and are quick to give thanks to those who have invested in you. The letter you wrote to your teacher this year just blew me away. I can't say that I've ever read anything that was as kind as your letter. I was a proud parent reading it.
8. You're a happy kid. I prayed that I wouldn't raise a "woe is me kid." Get up! Seize the day and whatever you do...don't feel sorry for yourself. I thank God that you received that message loud and clear! Life is good. You are happy and that makes me happy.
9. You take pride in your appearance! No matter where you are going or what you are doing, you put your best foot forward! Looks aren't everything, but the way you present yourself sure does get you in the door.
10. You are unique. Everyone's doing xyz! Everyone's wearing a certain thing! So what! You could care less. What's important to you is being true to yourself, even if no one else understands that. The easiest person in the world to be is yourself. From the bottom of my heart, please know that your Dad and I are so happy that you choose to march to your own beat. Keep marching...and don't go changing!