I’m not sure when it became uncool to say you love your kids.
At least not without phrasing it as a caveat: “You’re a pain in the ass...but I love you.“
I don’t feel that I have to put an asterisks near love. I don’t feel like I have to hide it, lest I seem coddling or ridiculous or soft or sappy or helicopter-y or whatever term we use to disparage parents who enjoy being parents.
I don’t feel I can tell you enough: I love you.
I say it every day so you’ll never forget.
Can parenting be challenging? Of course. Can it be frustrating, exhausting, terrifying, guilt-inducing? Certainly. But those are my issues. Not yours, Thalia.
You just keep being who you are today: The one who is quick to ask, “can I help?” the second I turn on the stove. The one who is so excited learning to swim, you swallow water because you can’t stop laughing. The one who finally remembers to clear your bowls without asking (and still wants credit for it). The one who will sing every word to a song until you get it exactly right. The one who says her favorite subject is “Science. No, math. No, singing. No, reading. No, science.” The one who delights in making handmade cards for every holiday, every friend, every family member, often for no reason at all. The one who wakes up smiling, the same as you were born smiling.
The one who gives me at least one reason to be proud of you every day.
I’m not sure how this happy little thing…
became this happy big thing,
but with 8 years, plenty of water and some food (mostly carbs) you grew into this amazing person.
I’m proud to be your mother. I love being your mother. Even if I’m still sometimes exhausted, still sometimes terrified, and still hoping the internet will implode in the next 18 months or at least before you start asking for a Facebook account.
I’ll never stop saying I love you. Even if people call me sappy (and they will). I am sappy! I like Journey, remember?
I’ll never stop saying I love you. Even when it embarrasses you (and it will).
Happy birthday Thalia. Thank you for making me a mother 8 years ago today. Thank you (and yes, your sister too) for never once making me regret it.