Happy Birthday, Grace.
Today is the first time since
well, forever, that I haven't been with you on your birthday.
I suppose that's what I get for having winter babies. I'm doomed to be separated from them on their birthdays when they go away to school or to their real lives.
Still, you know how I am. I don't think we should pack everything into one day, but spread it over the whole year and all of our time together.
Grace was named Grace by default. Before I ever thought about having babies, I had three girl names that I loved. Alexandra, Brigid and Francesca.
Alexandra was the only name Earl would consider, but he said he would call her Alex. I didn't want a girl with a boy's name. So we went with Grace Alexandra.
Grace was born in Florida and even though the weather was warm, we brought her home in a fuzzy sleeper, and then drove through Wendys on the hour-long trip home. We placed her in a cradle in our bedroom and tried to sleep ourselves, but we kept getting up to put a hand on her back to make sure she was breathing.
Her personality was set as a baby. She came out with big eyes that watch everything. She likes to figure things out before she jumps into them. And that is why she is such a smart adult.
Last year, we had a dance party to celebrate Grace's birthday. This year, her college friends get to decide how she spends her birthday. Oh, sure, we've sent along our gifts and wishes, but it's strange not to be able to kiss her good morning and wish her a happy birthday.
I'll text her around 8 and hope I'm not waking her up. I'll call her later between my classes and her classes. But for now, I guess I'll send her a hug that I gave her years ago and hope it will last.
Happy birthday, Grace. I love you.
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