Flora’s 11/11/11

Dear Flora,

When you were between 3 and 4 months old, you thought 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. was party time. Any attempt to lull you into sleep at those hours was met with a solid wall of wailing resistance.

When I went to the pediatrician for your 4 month check-up, I mentioned this to her. I said, “Is there something I can do so that she will flip her clock around?”

The pediatrician replied, “Tell you what. Give it another month. If she doesn’t turn her clock around, give us a call, and I’ll tell you some things to try.”

One day three weeks later, you slept nearly around the clock. And woke up at 7 a.m., ready to start the day, discover normal waking hours, and put those party days behind you.

It was like magic.

And that’s what growing children outside of your body is like. Magic. Just yesterday, you were my tiny baby girl. Then you were starting pre-school, and now you’re reading and doing math. You wear a uniform to first grade every day.

I fret over you sometimes, worry about your attention span. In the evenings, when I am being pulled in three directions, it’s hard to get you to sit down and do your homework. But when I mentioned my concerns to your teacher at our conference this week, she just smiled.

“Flora comes into the classroom happy and ready to learn.” She said you are able to focus on your work, that you are eager to raise your hand when you have the answer or go to the blackboard to show your work. She said you like all your classmates and get along with everyone.

That makes me so happy to hear.

You are a mercurial spirit with a big heart. You love to learn, and you love to laugh, and, gosh, you love Looney Tunes.

I woke you up this morning with a kiss on your cheek and a whisper in your ear. “Happy birthday, Flora.” And you smiled the sweetest, happiest smile before you even opened your eyes.

May you always have the magic of the day in you. May you always have the magic of *you* in you.

Happy 7th birthday, Flora.

I love you so much,