This was the moment I held you for the first time. After hours of labor, some small panics and too many doctors you were measured, cleaned and swaddled and placed into my arms. You were crying so I sang “Dream A Little Dream of Me”, a song I had been singing to you in utero. You instantly calmed down and tried to open your eyes to see me. This was the moment.
For 27 months you were our only one. You shined like a sun that fueled me and your father as we nervously orbited around you. Your every need was our purpose and we second guessed our every action. While we gave you all our attention we also expected the most. The ruler by which you were measured was incredibly long.

But no matter how long that ruler grew you stretched to exceed it. You’ve been standing taller, reaching higher each day of your life to exceed our expectations. And I finally noticed. I notice it in the patience you show your younger brother and the humor you show your younger sister. I notice it in the ease in which you comply with my asks and my rules; you don’t step in the puddle, you make way for the river’s flow. I notice it in the friendships you make, investing in humor and connection over popularity. I notice it in every compliment a teacher, parent or friend has paid you, or me. I notice it when you laugh at other’s jokes just as much as they laugh at yours. I notice it in the commitment and hard work you’ve put into dance, striving not for good but for your best. I notice it when you earnestly listen to my opinions, stories and rants and agree with them all. I notice it when you notice me as more than just your mother. I notice it when you humor me, because I am your mother.

You gave me the gift of vulnerability and humility. You gave me the gift of you.