These are the most beautiful days, when the temperature starts to drop, and the sun seems to shine a little differently. The days are golden somehow, and so too are the feelings we have. When autumn begins to walk softly beside us, we are joined by a good friend, and we smile for thousands of different reasons.
For some, autumn delivers a welcome break from the summer heat, and for others it marks the start of something new. A new season. A new school year. And perhaps the chance to start a new life. Others celebrate the start of football, and some, I suppose, remember fondly first romances whose flames were fanned with fall's gentle breeze.
But when autumn begins to walk with me I think to that perfect day eleven years ago when your mother and I welcomed you to this world. As I walked down the hospital hall to share with loved ones that we had a daughter, I thought briefly of the dreams I once had for myself and began to smile widely. I knew that if I did no other great thing in life, it would be okay, for I had done this. I had held you in my arms, and I had been changed forever. I don't know that I have ever told you that.
And since I find that the years are passing too quickly for me, and we embark yet again into another autumn, I want to tell you more.
I want to tell you that you are growing into a marvelously smart, funny, and beautiful young lady. You have said that you want to be a writer when you are older, and you very much have a writer's eye. You study people and your environment so well, and this will serve you not just as you refine your craft, but as you navigate your life to come and the obstacles that will appear. It has already served you well. This should be no surprise to anyone, for the newspaper said the day you were born that if today is your birthday you have a natural inclination to be a writer.
I am proud of your curiosity and wonder, and I hope that you will always find books to be such welcome company. You get that from your mom and my mom.
I want you to know that while it seems the only point of your two brothers' existence is to take your things and to annoy you, that will change. There will be a day when you need them more than you ever thought you would. And they will need you back. They are more than just brothers. They are part of you.
In the years to come, you will realize that. Trust me.
And I want you to know that the day after we brought you home from the hospital, we napped together on the couch. You were laid long on my chest, and I made sure to hold you close. Your heart beat inches from mine.
Know that no matter what the years to come may bring, you will always be that perfect little girl to me, a gift from God on an unbelievably beautiful day.
Know that I am so proud of you. Know that I love you.
And know that I will forever hold you close to my heart.
Happy Birthday, B.