Today marks the 14th year, or the 5,100th day, that my sweet baby Avery has been prancing around on this Earth and blessing everyone around her with her wit, her kindness, her silliness and her pure love for all of God’s creations.
You always hear the cliche, “I can’t believe she’s already 14. It’s like the time flew by!” I can honestly say that I have a wrinkle, an age spot, new moles and pocks of cellulite to account for every one of those 5100 days.
They were hard fought. There were tears. There were anxious nights of pacing. There were baby snuggles and swaddles. There were gut-wrenching diaper changes. There were cries of laughter. There were nail-biting doctor visits. There were sleepless nights. There were school programs. There were wet soccer games. There were dance battles. There were late night talks. There were heartbreaks. And there has always been love.
But 14. I remember 14. I remember Rave hairspray, and acid-washed jean jackets. I remember pegging the bottom of my jeans, the tighter the better. I remember using my hairdryer to get a nice “wing” on each side of my frizzy head and smiling at the lift I could get in my bangs. I remember using scarves as belts (back when I still needed something to hoist my pants up) and tucking my shirts in. I remember middle school dances. I remember crying at romantic songs with my girlfriends, feeling the anguish of unrequited love. I remember decorating my binder, passing notes and determining my future by choosing 1, then blue, then the letter D.
She’s going to remember her things someday. And like her mama, she’ll look back on it all with a mix of bittersweet nostalgia and fond smiles. And if she’s very lucky, she’ll have a daughter like herself to bring it all back to her.
Happy birthday sweet Avery. The sun shines when you smile.