An ultrasound a little over 10 years ago wasn’t enough to convince me that I would finally have a little girl sidekick. It wasn’t until you came into the world at 2:11 a.m. on June 17 and the doctor said you were a girl that I finally believed I had a new best friend for life. There’s just something about a mother-daughter bond that can’t be matched; I knew from that moment on you and I would be inseparable.
They say there’s a thing called a “mother’s instinct,” and I guess that kicked in big time the night you ended up in the ER, because I thought you were “breathing weird.” Your hospital stays as a one-year-old may have been short but enough to make this momma a crazy, nervous wreck. I thank God often that you grew out of those asthmatic ways. It was definitely a challenging time, and there will be many more of those in life, but you’ll make it through, just like we did then.
As a toddler, your little voice belting out Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours” (“no more, no more”) will stay with me always, as will the time you did a pre-performance of your school Christmas program singing about Baby Jesus’s birthday. I am so incredibly happy you didn’t get MY singing talents! And how could we forget the time you sang about being the “mother f….” princess repeating the lyrics in the Avril Lavigne song? Oops… maybe you did get THAT from me? I guess it was time to start censoring your music. I’m excited to see where that voice of yours will take you, Princess, but watch your words. Try to think before you speak always; words can hurt more than you know.
Watching my baby with big blue eyes and blonde curls grow into the sweet little girl you are today makes me beam with pride. While you may have a little bit of an attitude, your caring personality shows in your everyday actions. Seeing my little girl play with babies and Barbies like I used to do warms my heart. The gentle way you would feed your look-alike, blue-eyed doll displays your nurturing soul. You will be an amazing momma some day.
And as far as your attitude goes… stay strong, girl. Being told you were bossy by a boy in third grade may have hurt your feelings, but be proud of that. Leaders are bossy; be a leader; show others the way.
Thinking back to that one Easter at Mimi’s house when Uncle Zach put an Easter egg on the dog kennel specifically meant for you to get makes me chuckle. You overcame your fear of dogs that day to get to that egg, and now Babe and Ruth are your babies. You’ll be afraid often; fight through it; you’ll become a stronger person.
Lessons can be taught from the simplest things in life. And as you get older, I’m reminded that you’ll probably stop listening to these lessons, but that’s why I’m writing them down for you now. You can look back at this and remember what I told you.
From sleeping on my desk as a newborn baby to our many trips to Starbucks and being my bleacher buddy at your brothers’ games, you’ve been by my side as only a best friend could be. I know I won’t always be your best friend, but please remember you’ll forever stay mine.
Happy 10th birthday, Raelee! I love you to pieces and whole again forever!
Jennifer Alonzo is the publisher of Valley Publishing, headquartered in Monte Vista publishing the weekly papers.