My dear India,
Today you are six. Last night was your last night of five. I got a little nostalgic.
Today, six years ago, my life changed forever in the best possible way.
Because Jordan was late, and because I'd had a Cesarean, the midwife had told me to expect you'd be two weeks late. She'd told me they wouldn't induce, and I would just have to wait.
In all honesty, she made me feel bad for my choices, and she scared me, and made me cry
. I almost didn't go back. But I really, really didn't want another C-section if I could avoid it.
Your due date was April 29. So really, they said, I was looking at mid-May.
There are people who like being pregnant, and I am not one of them. So I didn't embrace the idea of two extra weeks of pregnancy. But I'd waited so long for you; I was prepared for two extra weeks.
I was completely unprepared for you to be 10 days early.
Six years ago last night I went to bed exhausted, uncomfortable, and ooh, so crabby. I woke up at 2:00 am when my water broke. This hadn't happened to me with Jordan, and I thought I was peeing. For a really long time, like way longer than made sense. I woke up your daddy to verify.
Kim had just finished making your room, because the room you have now was part of a larger space with no door. He was all stressed out
, racing to get done with that construction before you arrived.
Incidentally, Kim lobbied hard for us to name you after him. Kim is, as he pointed out, also a girl's name.
But I knew in my heart that your first name would either be Lillian or India, and I needed to spend a little time with you before I named you.
So six years ago, earlier than expected, you came into this world
on your own time, and full of life. And you continue to embrace the world on your own terms.
You have strong opinions, and you are stubborn. While sometimes I'm so frustrated with you I want to pull my hair out, I respect your strength and determination.
You're emotionally and physically strong. You can go back and forth on the monkey bars, turning around at one end and then the next without stopping.
When we talk about what to do if a grown up tries to grab you, you say, "If someone does that, I'm going to bite him and kick him in the penis SO HARD."
And I hope this is never tested, but I believe you would.
We read together at night, snuggled in your bed, and those quiet moments are the best part of my day.
You have recently taken an interest in Judy Blume's Fudge books. I never read those as a kid, but your dad did, and he was delighted to introduce you guys to them.
Jordan feels he's too old for them, but he listens. Sometimes when your dad is reading to you and I'm hanging out in Jordan's room while he's working on his comic book, I hear him giggle when Daddy gets to a funny part.
You're surrounded by avid readers and you can't wait to be able to read as well.
We had a truly brutal stretch at the beginning of this year. Every single day you were an utter demon. You screamed, refused to brush teeth, refused to get dressed, and fought about everything.
At first I thought the transition back to school was hard. But then this went on. And on.
You told me you hated me, every single day. This hurt my heart, every single day. You bounced off the walls--literally--every night at bedtime.
You were relentlessly mean. It was like someone had taken our girl and replaced her with Asmodeus.
I complained yet again
about the brutality of bedtime, and my friend Wendy
asked what had precipitated this period of terribleness. What had happened right before I started?
And you know what? The end of December, the allergist put you on a steroid inhaler for asthma. Those inhalers are supposed to be localized. I take one, and it doesn't make me crazy. But it made you craaaaaaaazy.
The five weeks you were on it were five weeks of hell. I took you off, and within 24 hours you were kind again. We haven't seen that level of Asmodeusness since.
This is not to say that life with you is an endless dream. When you're annoyed, you have a scream that I feel in the base of my skull. It makes me want to beat things with a hammer.
But that is life, with all its ups and downs. People are hard to live with, but what would this life be without the people we love?
And you are one of the people I love most in the entire universe. You light my world every single day. When I don't see you, I miss you, and when I pick you up from school you beam and charge into my arms.
I can still pick you up, and you still wrap your arms and legs around me, and mash your face against mine. One day you'll be too big, and I will miss this terribly.
You and your brother mostly get along so well. And of course, you have your Nana right here with us. Today after school she's taking you to Target to pick your present, which is what you specifically requested and locked her into weeks ago.
I have to imagine it will be Shopkins or Hatchimals. Both of which are small and adorable and really, really hurt when you step on them barefoot.
Right now you call me Biba, That's just your name for me. People sometimes hear it and ask why, I and I say you like it. I like that I have my own special name.
For a while, and for no reason, it was Mumpika. You play with these the way I call you Indi, Indi Bindi, Belinda, Bunny (short for Hunny Bunny), and so on.
At night before you sleep, we snuggle into each other and talk about how much we love each other. And then, on the rare nights you're really tired and embracing sleep, you'll say, "It's not time for talking; it's time for sleeping."
This is what I am always saying to you.
I'm so lucky I'm your mama and you're my girl.
You're a delight and a treasure and I love you love you love you.