At this time four years ago, I was in labor. Tonight, instead of timing contractions, we were putting together a princess bike and wrapping ballet slippers. In some ways it feels like just yesterday that Avery was born, but in others it seems like forever since it’s hard to remember what our lives were like without her. And who would want to?
I started to write that Avery has really come out of her shell in the past year, but who am I kidding? She was never in a shell. She was always a character, now she just takes on new characters as she is introduced to them. On any given night she could be Queen Elsa from “Frozen,” Miranda Lambert on the Country Music Awards or Miley Cyrus singing “Wrecking Ball.” The latter is the most frightening, but fortunately she has never seen MTV. She loves to perform and has no issues being the center of attention.
Avery’s smile is infectious. She makes us laugh all the time and when I told her a few months ago that she is funny, she was adamant in her repeated response saying, “I’m not funny,” with a deadpan look on her face, which only made me laugh harder.
I used to tell Avery that if I knew they all would be just like her I’d have 100 babies. But no one is just like her. She’s one of a kind.
On this, the fourth year of the tall, skinny blonde dynamo we often call Avery Gracie, I’m so proud of my outgoing, beautiful, fun, stubborn, confident, independent, smart and compassionate little girl. We all know I’m not having 100 babies. Even if I did, none could hold a candle to her. She holds a special place in my heart and plays an even more unique role in the lives of her dad and brother.
We all love you so much and are excited to watch you ride your new bike in ballet slippers. Because tennis shoes are just too ordinary for a girl like you. Happy 4th birthday, baby girl, we can’t wait to celebrate with you tomorrow night!