I wasn't sad or impatient about it. I wanted the baby to come when the baby was ready and I knew from Isaac's birth that I'd miss being pregnant the second he was born, even while I was overjoyed at finally meeting my baby. I savored the time with my two year old and held my husband's hand while we walked the block yet again in hopes that Jim's sister could meet her new niece or nephew before having to drive back home.
We said goodbye to Jim's sister, put Isaac to bed, and hit the hay ourselves. I woke up at around 1:30 with contractions and went downstairs to fold some laundry. I was sitting on our basement floor folding when one of the contractions rocked me and I had to get on all four on the floor and rock back and forth. I decided I should wake Jim up and make plans to get someone here to watch Isaac.
Things went quickly and our baby, our little girl, our Audrey, was born even before her aunt made it back home. We met her, our little girl who decided to wait until she was good and ready to make her grand and quick arrival, and marveled her perfection and fell in love a million times over and wondered how in the world this could be our life.
And now she's nine. And she's had a really rough year with lots of uncertainty, tons of question marks, many ups and downs, and more addresses than a well traveled military family. So, so much has changed since we celebrated her 8th birthday, the one where Jim was out of town and approved a showing during the middle of her actual birthday party. Yet all the most important things remain the same. We love this girl. We celebrate her life and love and enthusiasm and smile. We thank God for the gift of her every darn day and count ourselves as the luckiest on the planet to share this journey with our loving, kind, silly, vivacious daughter. Of all the girls in all the world and all the parents in all the lands, we got her and she got us and we couldn't be happier or more proud or more honored to share this life with her. Just her.
We've learned a lot about our daughter this year. About what scares her and what makes her tick. About what makes her smile take over her whole face and what makes her open up her heart to share with others.
The next year is her last trip around the sun before she hits double digits. I don't know how the time has passed so quickly. It's the biggest cliche in the parenting world, but that's because it's the truest. I only know that my love grows for her as she becomes her own person, finds her own way, discovers her own truths.
Happy 9th birthday, Audrey. I love you because you are who you are! No matter what, forever and always.