You smiled while still pretending to be asleep as I sang Happy Birthday to you first thing in the morning.
I'm not used to this, to a child that shows conceptual understanding of non-tangible events, but I'll take it.
You happily dressed in nicer clothes than I usually send you to school in, and then lost your everloving mind when I presented you with a plush tiara on a headband and a matching star wand. A pincess, you kept saying, as you booped things with your wand like Princess Presto on Super Why. Look, Mommy, I a pincess -- pesto!
Thank you, dollar section at Target. Thank you.
Every present was enthralling and the best thing you'd ever seen. You were a little bratty about sharing with your brother but I understand that's more about your age than your dynamic, as lately he's been far more apt to be kind and cater to your wants and needs than throw a fit. You were excited to talk to family on the phone, on Skype, and to the ones who could make it over. You even knew to blow out the candles on the cookie cake your dad picked up at the store and I tried to decorate so it at least said your name.
Someday, I'll better explain to you how our friends and family rallied around us so that you could have this day, your bess birfday EBER, MOMMY! and why I cried my eyes out when you weren't looking, first out of fear, then second out of complete gratitude, but know that the day you had was a group effort, a communal show of love for you.
From the day you were born and the first time you smiled at me (at brunch, in a hotel in Skokie, Illinois, in front of most of my mom's side of the family) you've been a bright, sunny spot in my life. You are the daughter I've waited my whole life to meet, and besides your surprise hair color, you are everything I'd hoped for and more. I am in awe of the little girl you're becoming and I am so proud to call you my daughter.