Written on April 2, 1996, during the whirlwind days following the phenomenal Aidan Zielske's entrance into this world.
My first born is 15 today. One-five. 3 times 5. Half of 30. One year from driving. Three years from—gasp—college. Part of me wants to say, "How did this happen?" even though I know exactly how it happened: this is what life does, it just keeps on moving.
It would be an understatment to say I wish I'd lived more in the moment when she was younger. I wish I'd been able to be aware of the awareness I'd have in the here and now—that this precious and brilliant soul won't always live within these four walls. She won't always sleep just two doors down from me. She won't always need me to make her meals, and clean her clothes and remind her to brush her teeth. And she won't always need or want my opinions and advice.
I plan to make the most of these years with her, even when her teenaged self might want nothing to do with her well-intentioned but slightly annoying mother. I plan to learn as much as I possibly can about who she is and who she is on her way to becoming.
And I'm going to keep trying really hard not to mess it up and get in her way.
Happy birthday, Aidan Isabella. Part of me aches for the little girl you are leaving behind, and part of me tries to imagine the woman you are on your way to becoming.
But the part of me that is the luckiest gets to see who you are, right now, at 15. And every day to follow.
I love you more than french fries.