Ten. T-E-N. One decade. 3,650 days old. How is it possible? How did the years accelerate so rapidly? These words sound so foreign on my lips, but you baby girl, are indeed ten years old today whether I've come to terms with it or not.
You have now entered the double digits, the pre-teen club, and while I'm in silent denial over here, you are changing and growing right before my eyes.
You were born on an impossibly hot summer day. It was the kind of summer that found me seeking endless refuge in front of the air conditioning and cursing the fact that I had to wear clothing in public. Many days were spent persuading you to come out so that I could feel human again. Anyone who has ridden out the final days of pregnancy in the heat of summer knows what I mean. Somehow you must have known that if you came too soon, your Daddy would have missed your birth. And so you waited until the time was just right.
You came screaming into the world that warm summer day, declaring proudly to anyone who would listen that there was a new boss in town. You were so red and angry-looking when you were born--understandably upset that you were plucked from your safe, warm nest. I must have counted your fingers and toes a thousand times that first day- pinching myself and feeling awestruck that little ole' me had created something so flawless, so good. My love for you was instant and overwhelming. It frightened me and awakened parts of me that I didn't know existed. Motherhood is weird like that- intense, raw and overpowering. I was never one to fantasize about marriage or having children, but like most good love stories, those first moments with you were enough to ignite a life-long love affair.
Somehow you survived those early months with us when your Daddy and I were certain we were doing every. single. thing. wrong. You thrived. You grew and our hearts grew even more rapidly to fit this enormous love we had. The days raced past and each one brought a new adventure with you.
I see glimpses now of the woman you will become. The soft, golden curls in your hair. The strong shoulders, and even stronger will. We are past the half-way mark with you and in another quick blink of an eye you will be off blazing your own path. I hope by that point I will have taught you to live with an open heart and let kindness lead the way. I pray that when it's time to spread your adult wings, you'll do so knowing just how cherished and deeply loved you are. I want you to believe that there is no one on Earth quite like you, because there truly is not. You are remarkable and unique, beautiful and funny, wacky and a tad bit weird (my most favorite part about you). You are everything, sweet girl.
Happy 10th Birthday, my little outlaw.
We went to shoot these birthday pictures, hoping for a vibrant, cheerful sunrise at the beach. Instead, we were greeted with some of the thickest fog I've seen. And so we rolled with it, and danced in the clouds with the fishermen- the only other people silly enough to be out that early.