Monday, October 31, 2005

To Hazel on her 3rd Birthday

Dear Hazel,

You turned 3 years old at 8:09 on Saturday night. Three! It's hard to believe that three long and three short years ago, you were born. You are the greatest joy, and the biggest challenge, in our lives. You inspire us, you defy us, you keep us humble. You are our little firecracker, our golden girl.

We talked a lot this weekend about the night you were born - how you came out at night time, how you looked at us quietly the next morning with your big eyes, so wise and new and other-worldly. You seemed to hold the key to the universe. Your dada and I could not believe that we made you, that you were ours to love and protect and guide through this life. It doesn't seem like enough time has passed since then for you to be a walking, talking person with opinions and ideas, but here we are, three years later, and it's amazing to us that you were ever really that small, that new, that fresh.

You have grown into a beautiful, charismatic, idiosyncratic, hilarious, imaginative and charming little girl. We love your little voice, your big ideas and your giant personality. You are a maze of both endearing and infuriating qualities, and navigating you is something that we have to keep learning and relearning, day after day. You are a masterpiece.

The last year was a big one for you. We moved into a new house, you became a big sister and you started preschool. Each transition was really hard for you, but you made your own way and took your own time, and came out the other side of each tunnel a little older, a little stronger. You have a big, booming inner voice, Hazel, and it guides you unfailingly. I so admire that about you. You listen, really listen to yourself, and for better or worse, that is a rare and admirable attribute that you brought with you to this life. Your bottomless reserves of tenacity and self-awareness will allow you keep listening to yourself, now and forever. You have your own sense of time and your own ideas about how things should, and will, unfold in your life, and while your timetable and mine do not often sync up, I secretly admire your fierce adherence to it.

You have made dear friends this year and are trying hard to figure out your place among them. You used to be the timid one. Now you're the bossy one. Which one will you be next? Watching you and your girlfriends love, pester, tease, hug and excite each other has been one of the highlights of my life with you so far. It is amazing to me that you have such a tight circle of friends at such a young age - not only do you have a little sister at home who loves, idolizes and adores you, you have sisters who live in other houses, with other parents who you also love, and that community of wonderful people is something we hope to preserve for you for a long, long time. Nothing else in this life will compare to relationships like these. How fortunate we are to be learning that all together.

You have always been an exceptional kid, Hazel. Never one to follow the crowd, you said your first word at the age of seven months. By ten months you were walking and by one, you had a bigger vocabulary than most two year olds. Today, you use words like "actually" and "character" and "independent" - and you use them properly! You like to dress yourself and are only concerned with what feels and looks good to you, social propriety and weather be damned! You are in no hurry to poop in the potty, though you know that I am lobbying hard for it (perhaps this is why, Mary Contrary?). You are learning how to love your sister by sharing with her and teaching her how to use toys and read books not because I encourage you to, but because you are actually beginning to enjoy it, to enjoy her. You look forward to your time at school and are forming relationshiops there completely on your own, guiding yourself and choosing your own activities, and learning that the world expands beyond your family and friends and your comfort zone. Life keeps changing and getting better for you, and it is a joy to for us to be a part of it.

Everyone who has ever met you has commented on how beautiful you are, with your curly golden hair and your big, brown eyes. You are a total knockout. When the four of us are laying in bed after you come in and wake us up in the morning, your dada and I look at you and your sister, and we just can't imagine two more knock down, drag out gorgeous girls. You two are already heartbreakers; you're going to be big trouble.

Happy Birthday to you Hazel, as you begin your third year of life, and many happy returns. You are our best big girl, our little Hoo, and we are forever in your debt for coming along and starting our family. Dada, Violet and I love you so very, very much.








10 Comments:

Blogger Stefania Pomponi Butler aka CityMama said...

That was an incredible, touching, loving tribute. I love the birthday letter. Brings tears to my eyes! And you are right, she is a stunner.

12:42 AM  
Blogger you say laura, i say gretchen said...

you are such a great writer. my blog bows to yours. what a sweet tribute!

9:54 AM  
Blogger llamaschool said...

A very sweet post. Happy birthday to Hazel, and where are those Daisy Head Hazey pics?

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Man, when Hazel's old enough to read this we're gonna be in a lot of trouble. :]

5:22 PM  
Blogger lesley said...

happy birthday to hazel!
3 big years, woop!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Debbi said...

Happy Birthday Hazel!! And Aly I have to say that your note to her is the most eloquent and heart melting tribute to a little girl from her mommy that I have ever encountered. I was deeply moved by your sweet words and utter awe at your little creation. I think Mike is wrong. When she grows up she is going to be so pleased that you took time to reflect on all her wonderful qualities and tell her how truly special she is to both of you. You're reflection and words inspire me to be a more demonstrative mommy. Hugs--- Debbi

9:20 AM  
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