My dear Anna turns four today. My sweet baby girl.
Never could I have imagined the little girl who came into our lives four years ago. Anna has a spirit like no one I've known. Our home is filled with crazy laughter and singing and dancing, thanks to Anna. She brings out the silly and the joy in all of us. She lives with gusto and great energy. She also pushes and challenges us and demands that we are at our best for her. (as we should be!) Everyday, Anna is generous and full of life and she gives her love to everyone around her in a big big way.
Each year on Anna's birthday, we re-live the day she was born. Anna arrived very quickly, and in quite the dramatic fashion. She arrived so quickly in fact, that had we not been at the hospital (and in the process of being sent home for "lack of progress" I might add...), I am sure that Anna would have been born on our bedroom floor. Or in the car. Then, over the course of the next six weeks, there was more drama and more complications. Fortunately though, nothing too traumatic or long-lasting. But certainly enough for Ray and I to still recount the story each year. And still catch our breath a little, these four years later.
Ray and I are also pretty sure that Anna's remarkable arrival made a permanent mark on her remarkable self. Before she drew her first breath, Anna was all about making a dramatic entrance.
And I wouldn't change a single moment.
So here is my dear Anna on her fourth birthday....
This is not the picture I had planned to share. With Henry and Ray both at school today, Anna and I were going to have a full day of fun together. Just the two of us. But life intervened....
After a very restless night (and now I know why), Anna woke up with her little body covered in hives and welts. Turns out she is allergic to amoxicillin, which she started taking for an ear infection over a week ago. Poor thing.
So, this picture is of Anna, taking a Bendryl-induced nap, and trying to sleep off the hives. Bummer.
True to form, Anna added a little drama to her birthday, just like she did four years ago.
If parenthood has taught me anything, it is that we have so little control over life. And for me (control freak that I am), that is a big (and hard!) lesson. But, I'm doing my best to roll with the waves....
So, if we can't celebrate Anna's birthday today, we'll celebrate tomorrow. And we'll keep on celebrating, day after day. Certainly at our house, there is much worth celebrating. Birthday or not.
Happy birthday Anna.
Thank you for filling my heart with boundless joy and love and life.
Update: With doses of Benedryl and Claritin, Anna recovered well enough for the celebration to go on as planned. Let's hear it for four year old resilience (especially when cake and presents are involved!)