One of the very best things about you is that you are completely incapable of withholding emotion from your face and I, as your mother, know your face better than anyone. I have spent many an hour tracing the perfect little triangle of freckles on your right cheek and twirling my fingers in your perfect little ringlets. I wish I could have a flip book of all of your emotions, all the subtle little motions that make your face so expressive and so, so Addie.
If I were to pick one of the ten best days of your life, today would be at the very top of the list. I took a hundred photos of you today and as I look back over them my heart gets overwhelmed with gratitude that you’re mine. We both decided today was the BEST! DAY! EVER! and I’m going to go ahead and say that this year has been the best fall ever. These past four days are going to be locked away in my heart forever and a constant reminder of how magical fall can be rather than worrying about the dark and dreary days of winter looming nearby. You’re a lucky little kid, and I don’t say that in a “SO YOU’D BETTER APPRECIATE IT AND STOP WHINING” kind of way, you see, when you were first born I had no idea how to give you a good life. How to make you happy. I had no clue how much went into parenting and to be honest there was a time I wasn’t even sure I was ever going to be able to provide you with a memorable childhood. I did fun things as a kid with my parents, but whenever I look back on a lot of them there is the very obvious stain of my parent’s divorce on almost every single memory.
I loved camping with my mom, but my dad was never there.
I loved going to Snowbird resort with my dad, but my mom was never there.
You are at an age where the memories we make now as a family are most likely going to stick with you. Today as we rode horses through the Ohio hills I thought back to how much I adored horses at your age and how there was no better place in the world than on the back of a horse. To this day, there is a little kid inside of me who still loves horses with a furious passion, so to see the same adoration and love on your face? My heart skips a beat that I was able to be with you in that moment today.
Even the softspoken and quiet cowboy who led our ride kept turning around to comment on the smile plastered to your face, at one point he even said “You’re proof that every little girl belongs on the back of a horse!” Later in the day as you zip lined across a mountaintop, your guide mentioned “I’ve never heard a giggle as infectious as hers.”
Your infectious giggle and enormous smile are a part of me. We may have our struggles, but child, you are magnificent. I get to watch as every adorable, charming and strong willed part of you adds up to something even more marvelous each and everyday I get to spend as your mom.
Some people will try and tell you that wearing your heart on your sleeve and every emotion on your face is a bad thing, and it can be if you are quick to offense or anger. But as you cultivate forgiveness, acceptance, patience and self confidence, your fierce and loving heart will bring you the very best of everything life has to offer. While it won’t always protect you from pain, it will allow you to truly appreciate the wonderful moments and blessings that come from difficulty.
I love you baby.
I’m so grateful to partner with Hallmark in 2012 on their “Life is a Special Occasion” campaign again and I thank them tremendously for their patience with me, supporting me in all that I do and for sponsoring this post. Life with my family is the most special occasion of all.