My Norah. Today, you’re seven. Seven years since you came, angry, red and screaming into our lives. You were THE MOST difficult baby. But I was immediately bonded to you. Only I could soothe you, only I could understand those terrible mood fluctuations. At four months, it was as if a switch turned. You were laughing and dimpled and so stunningly pink-cheeked and gorgeous.
Today, you’re endlessly fascinating to me.
You’re beautiful, so beautiful that people stop us regularly every time we leave the house to comment on your face, and mostly your hair. You take it all in with a demure smile, a calm “thank you.” I admire your confidence, your self-assurance. I envy it, a little.
You’re incredibly smart. You argue points, you do extra homework, you write and create and draw. Portraits are your favorite these days; you draw everyone we come into contact with. You also did a series of still-life pieces last week. I don’t know where the inspiration comes from, but it does. It spills out of you. No scrap of paper is safe. Your stories and lists cover every surface.
You’re popular, but you forge your own trail. You have a close group of boys and girls that admire your feisty edge. You do what you want and if others don’t follow, you don’t care. At least now you don’t, and I pray that you’ll always feel that same independence.
You surprise me with your sweetness. I expect attitude and spirit and sass, so when you draw me close to snuggle or tell me you want to buy something just like I have so we can match, I’m often incredulous. But I love it so much. Even as a baby, you were off and running, pushing away from me, so I take the affection when I can get it. When you tell me you hope we will run a store together one day, my heart bursts.
You’re the most complex, interesting, thoughtful person I know. I am proud and amazed that I’m your mom. I didn’t really think through having a baby, and you were and still are so much more than I would have guessed I could handle or even deserve. You’re a bright, intense, passionate star and I love you so much. Happy seven, my girl.
(And someday, your teeth will grow back in!)
* photo credit Jamie Street