Sunday, April 10, 2011

A Decade Old

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Ten years ago, a miracle. A baby girl.

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This bundle was not just any baby girl. She was you - Emma Grace, my second child, the girl I had always wanted. Sam, penis and all, had come three and a half years earlier and I had loved celebrating and living his boyhood. However, this time around I wished for, prayed for a girl. Dresses, pigtails, gingham nightgowns, bubble gum pink-painted walls.

What I remember most about your birth was that it was fast and furious and the epidural didn’t take. The pain led me to scream obscenities in the pushing phase. I remember the smirk on my doctor’s face when he smugly said, “My, I’ve never seen this side of you.” Well, no shit. I’m pushing an 8 lb, 3 oz watermelon out of a hole the size of your eyeball.

When it was time, I pulled you out of my body.  Really, I did. All those years of being a gymnast finally paid off. Right when your little head crowned, the doc told me to reach down. I grabbed you underneath your baby bird shoulders and lifted you onto my belly. The most amazing feeling I have ever had in my life was lifting you up and feeling you leave my body and enter the world (sorry, no pictures).

Here’s you and Sam. He loved you before you were even born. Yes, you guys bicker, but your bond is undeniable. You’ll carry that with you. You’ll never have another brother, so don’t forget how important he is.  Does it get cuter than this?

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“Emma” - Your name fits you. Stoic. Strong. Feminine. You probably haven’t looked it up on the Urban Dictionary (or I hope you haven’t) but here’s what they say:

Derived from Germanic ermen meaning "whole" or "universal.”  Very artistically talented. One who has no true idea of her true beauty, both inside and out.

It’s possible there is nothing sweeter than you in those early years. Pure butterball loveliness. Where Sam was robust, clever, precocious and attention- seeking, you were quiet, unassuming and shy. Never having been this way myself, you pulled at my heart strings and drew me in with those big blue eyes and your peaceful yet strong nature.

You lost all of her hair at about nine months and everyone thought you were a boy. Idiots. What boy wears a jean jumper? Well, maybe Perez Hilton.

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But soon enough, no one would ever mistake you for the opposite gender again. Your beauty, inside and out, paved the way.

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Over the years you have found her voice and your confidence. You are self assured. Compassionate. Feisty. Ornery. Willful. Loving. Strong.

 

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And you can run a 10K in 1:07, but that’s just me bragging.

Today I woke you up and gazed at your round face, seeing it as a baby face again. 

You asked me if I would cry at you wedding. “Of course,” I said. “Not because I will be sad, but because I will be happy, proud, full to the tip top with feelings.” You panicked and said, “If you are going to cry I will never get married.”

I went on to tell you, “And, I will cry when you graduate from college and I will cry when you turn ten years old.” Again, this upset you. In you little world crying is bad, a sign of sadness, upset, dismay. You are so compassionate, you never want to see anyone sad.

Em,” I told you, “I am crying because I am emotional. Because it is bitter sweet. You are growing up and turning into more of who you are and I love that, but it also means you are inching away from me little by little.”

You will understand this more when you are a mom. But, for now, don’t worry about it. Just slap me upside the head and get me some Kleenex.

I know you say you’ll always live with me at home and I know you won’t. But, promise me:

  • We’ll keep having our long conversations about why fourth grade girls are so mean and dramatic. Soon enough those conversations will be about boys and periods and birth control (eek!) and planning weddings and strollers.
  • You’ll never stop singing and dancing your way through life. Your spirit rocks this house!
  • You’ll keep writing because you are gifted and maybe you can have a blog called Shut Up and Run Because My Mom Said So.
  • You’ll remember all the lessons we talk about: make lemons out of lemonade, the cream always rises to the top, hold your head up high, don’t make mountains out of molehills. Yes, your mom likes clichés.

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Couldn’t love you more,

MOM

76 comments:

  1. :) oh great now I need a box of Kleenex! Happy Birthday Emma!

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  2. beautiful....now send me some kleenex :)

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  3. Yeah, I need the Kleenex now, too! This was just about the sweetest thing I've read in forever :) Happy Birthday to Emma! She is a lovely girl with what sounds like a lovely spirit... And I love that pic of you fully enceinte. As well as the baby pic right above it. You have beautiful kids, SUAR... and your love for them is exquisite.

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  4. Totally teared me up...and reminded me of my own little girl who turns 22 years old this summer. It just goes so quickly...I love spending time with my daughter.

    Happy Birthday Emma!!

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  5. Aww...I totally got teary eyed reading this post. This is simply beautiful. Just beautiful! Happy Birthday Emma!

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  6. Omg I almost cried! I love this. Happy birthday to your beautiful girl! You are both very lucky. Moms all feel the same way.... <3

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  7. What a wonderful post, and what a beautiful daughter. Happy Birthday Emma!

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  8. She seems like a really great kid. I hope to be half the mom that you are one day :)

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  9. Wow, I totally teared up! My son is only 3, but I still fear that day when he will go off on his own!

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  10. Happy birthday to her!! My youngest of 5 just turned 8 on the 7th! How time flies.

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  11. Oh my Beth, this is my favorite post of yours on several account. #1So SWEET! I'm all choked up here. What a beautiful tribute to Emma! And #2 So Funny. I resist telling you how funny you are because I'm sure you hear it alllll the flippin' time but this really made me laugh all the way through it...I found myself smiling with an "Awwww" and then laughing the next sentence. I'm certain that she really is gifted in so many ways with you as her mother...humor, writing, athletic talent, oh so much. I'm sure you husband would enjoy some credit too but sorry, I don't know him...patience...he's probably patient. :)
    Happy Birthing day to you and Happy Birthday to Emma!

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  12. What a sweet letter. Happy birthday to your little girl!

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  13. Happy Birthday to Emma and to you Beth!

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  14. What a wonderful and sweet post. I needed this today.

    Happy Birthday, Emma!

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  15. One word.. Beautiful.

    Beautiful post and beautiful daughter.

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  16. I'm a puddle of tears right now. Really hits home thinking of how fast my little ones seem to be growing (7 and 5 now). Emma sounds so much like my Ella (also my second child and first girl). Can't believe how strong that little girl is. Makes me so proud.

    Happy Birthday Emma!

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  17. This is wonderful!

    My babies are almost 21 and almost 18 and I can still see the baby in each face. While I miss those short people who used to hang with me, it's been fascinating (and sometimes heartbreaking) watching two people from identical gene pools take very different paths as they grow and learn and discover who they really are.

    Happy Birthday to Emma!

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  18. Beautiful girl and beautiful mother! So lucky they are special in my life! Happy Birthday Emma! xoxo

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  19. No children here so I am not emotional like the other female readers.

    I was more impressed with the preggo pic vs. your previous posts on your abs. AMAZING!

    Happy B-day to your little girl!

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  20. Happy birthday to your baby girl!!!! <3

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  21. I used to think my mom was such a sap - always crying about things. But now I realize, ALL moms are saps, including me! Here I am, 4.5 months preggo, super emotional, secretly hoping for a girl (dont tell my hubs) and crying my eyes out at this wonderful tribute to your beautiful daughter!

    Happy Birthday Emma!!

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  22. Happy Birthday to Emma! Wow, you've got me sitting here bawling at the kitchen table - pregnancy hormones? The sweetest birthday blog entry ever? I don't know but I love it.

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  23. Way to go - you made me cry. And I HATE crying my own tears!!

    This was beautifully written, and I made me miss my own baby girl even more than usual. She just turned 20, and will graduate from college this December...but I swear she's still in pigtails, collecting Betty Spaghettis and leaving their neon pink plastic itty bitty shoes all over the house.

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  24. Thanks for sharing. Beautiful. Reading your post makes me hope for a little girl, for I am 5 months pregnant.

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  25. Yup, now I am all watery eyed. Happy Birthday Emma!!!

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  26. More importantly, what boy's mom would put him in a jean jumper?

    Happy birthday, Emma!

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  27. Happy Birthday Baby SUAR!!!!

    1:07 is rockstar status.

    Different Title:
    My Mom Farted and it Smelled

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  28. I need kleenex too! She looks SO much like you, I have to say.

    My son and daughter are the same order, same years spread out. Watching them grow up is indeed incredibly bittersweet!

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  29. Such a cutie- hope you all have fun with birthday celebrations!

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  30. Due to overwhelming sweetness and post-long run emotional instability, this made me weep during my ice bath! Thank you for sharing!

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  31. Time for a Kleenex giveaway! Super cute little lady!

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  32. Really beautiful! My boy is just 4. I think I'll cry in September when he goes to school.

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  33. Bawling. I am bawling. Geesh.... happy birthday to your beautiful, strong girl!

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  34. Beautiful!! Happy Birthday Emma, and your mom is a keeper! Always cherish that bond!

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  35. Not the only one who is crying, phew. Beautiful, and happy birthday to your girl!

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  36. I teared up and I don't even have a kid. She's lucky to have a loving mom.

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  37. That was wonderful to read, thank you for sharing! Happy Birthday Emma!

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  38. You know we all said "Ahhhhhh..." at the end of this right?

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  39. ah you made me CRY.
    this is lovely.
    She looks like you. that last picture is just perfect. Happy birthday Emma! Print this post from your mom and put it in a special box. It is precious stuff you will want to have when you get to be older. There is no better gift then to know how much your mom truly loves you.

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  40. Happy Birthday to your Emma! I hope/pray that I can have a similar relationship with my daughter when she is older. Lucky to have you as mom!!

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  41. beautiful! you made me cry as well!

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  42. So sweet - happy birthday to your beautiful Emma!

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  43. AWWWWWW Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

    And WOW that belly looks humungous on you. How did you even walk??

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  44. Awesome Tribute! Happy birthday to your Emma.

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  45. That does it!! We're keeping the baby in August, not giving her up for adoption or to ASU for medical research. KEEPING HER!! Love ya!

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  46. Such a beautiful, lucky, little girl. Happy birthday!! She shares her birthday with my grandma, what a great day!

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  47. Such a sweet, sweet post! Happy birthday to Emma! May she continue to have a beautiful, happy life!

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  48. :)
    Happy birthday, sweet Emma! You are one lucky girl to have such a great Mom and family.

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  49. I love your birthday posts to your kids, they are so sweet :)
    You're a great mom SUAR!

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  50. so sweet. happy birthday to the young one!

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  51. Fourth-grade girls can be so mean. Keep it up, Emma~

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  52. Love this post :) My oldest turns 10 next Saturday and I'm already getting emotional. Time is flying. Emma is beautiful. Happy Birthday!!!

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  53. I loved reading your softer side Beth. Happy Birthday Emma.

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  54. Happy birthday Em... and now I need a faster 10k too..

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  55. This is the sweetest post ever! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!!

    And I must work on my 10k....
    ;)

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  56. Ahhh... Mrs. Shut Up and Run made me cry! ;-) What a beautiful open letter to your sweet girl! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  57. I'm bawling at my computer at work (this is why I shouldn't be reading blogs at work!) and I am not even a mom! Thank you for sharing - your children are beautiful and I know you are raising them to be beautiful people too.

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  58. What a beauty...happy birthday!

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  59. Absolutely beautiful post. Having a son and 2 daughters myself, I recognized so much of what you said in my own feelings. You wrote it beautifully. And the pictures are spectacular. I must say I adore the picture of your 3-year-old son with his little toothy grin smiling proudly as he holds your daughter. I remember it all so so well in my own children. *sniff sniff*

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  60. happy birthday emma! love the dorothy pic, too cute.

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  61. Happy birthday emma!!! what a wonderful post :) so sweet!

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  62. Lovely, happy birthday to your lady!

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  63. :) happy, happy (belated) birthday to your beautiful daughter!

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  64. Ok How are we suppose to read this post without shedding some tears. Love this post. What a beautiful little girl and handsome little boy.

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  65. What a sweet story of the past 10 years! Happy Birthday!

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  66. So sweet. Happy Birthday!!

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  67. This post is so sweet and yeah, it made me cry. My daughter (my 2nd) just turned 2 and I can't imagine her turning 10 at this point. Hope your sweet girl had a great birthday!

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  68. holy crap, i teared up.. thank you for sharing.

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  69. oh, and HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY to your girl!!! :)

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