9. 9?? No, seriously, 9?!?!!!!!!
For 9 years now you have been filling the air with exclamation points, question marks, emoticons before they existed, things unsaid but always felt. (For 9 years and 9 months, actually, but ew, I know.) So 9 years.
9 years ago your dad and I left the house at 3am while the neighborhood slept silently, the stillness of the fog thick with everything that was about to happen. I remember driving across the city, how at a red light we stopped next to a truck blasting dance music, thumping the windows. How I turned to look at the young guy driving just as he turned to look at us. I couldn't help but think how different his night was than ours, how he might wake up the next morning and think about what had happened the night before, I don't know. Maybe his night was nothing. By the time we reached the hospital I was 8 cm dilated.
I had dinner with a friend of mine last night who said that turning 9 is momentous as it is halfway to a child leaving the house. I wanted to punch her for a second, because really? This is how it happens? So quickly at a dinner table over a beet salad and then you're gone, grown up. Do you want any pepper on that? No please.
God but you are beautiful. And more. I want to wrap myself around you and hold you always, hear you rattle on and on about Minecraft, read me blurbs from your graphic novels, secretly listen as you sing in your room. The truth is, I have been in a constant state of disbelief since you were born. I have a baby! I am in love! Her breath smells like warm bread! She can walk! Kick a ball! Spell exhale! How did I get so lucky? For 9 years now I have felt your own reverb as it thumped against the windows, watched as you moved through time and place, amazed at who you are and are becoming, the persistence of sound after a sound is produced. The reflections continue.
There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about what happened that night, that morning, to be exact. You were born at 10:52 am, the doctors pulling you from me with a tug. 9 years later and I still feel that tug, that pull, that something unsaid but always felt.
It sounds like this.
With all the emoticons in the world.
I love you,