Dear Zoe and Talia,
January has been a long month. Abnormally long. In fact, I feel as though we should be in March right now, even though I don’t really want to be in the third month of the year. And with the month feeling so long, I should have had time to prepare for this day. But the only things I really prepared for are the two cakes I will make you in celebration of your birthdays.
Your birthdays. (Your eighteenth birthdays!)
If I think about that number a little too long, tears might begin to prick my eyelids.
How did we get here?
How is it possible that 6574 days have passed?
Do I even want to know how many more days you have left in our house?
The answer to that last question is, quite simply, no.
Can I hold onto you forever?
Can I ask you to visit every weekend?
Can I beg you not to leave?
That answer to all of those questions is also no.
But again, how in the world did we get here and how did it happen so quickly?
A few weeks ago, I watched a video of your second birthday. That year, I baked a cake layer for each of you, complete with a ladybug on top. I ordered purple plastic forks that you held onto as if your lives depended on them. Talia, you stood on a dining chair and looked longingly at the cake, sometimes glancing at Daddy, who had the camera in hand. And Zoe, you sat and scowled at that same camera, then glanced at the cake, unsure of whether or not you wanted any (even my cajoling didn’t convince you to really do much with that cake). At the time, I had no idea just how much that scene revealed about your personalities, but even then, only two years in, you were so very different.
I’ve waxed poetic before on your differences and similarities, so I won’t bore you with any of those today. Instead, I’ll make this short and sweet (just like you). I’ll tell you once again that you are unique. That you’re the hot coffee of my mornings, the chocolate chips in my cookies, and the sun on a summer’s day. The two of you have taught me more than I can ever hope to teach you, and I’m most honored to have had the privilege to witness your growth and maturation. My wishes for you outnumber the stars, and so does my love.
All the very best on this birthday of yours.
P.S. I’ll post links to the recipes for the two cakes I made a bit later. I suspect you’ll be asking for them.
P.P.S. Hope the tattoos turn out exactly how you want them to.
Image of an antique lock by Ahmed Gomaa at Pixabay.com.