Today is Lily’s eighth birthday. I asked her what she’d like to do for her actual birthday (she had her party last Friday) and she said, “Go to the beach.” So this afternoon we swimsuited up and headed for our town’s little beach on the St. Croix River.
As I sat at the water’s edge watching Lily splashing and laughing in the bright sunshine, I thought, as I always do on this day, of her birth mother and father. I thought of all the things I wish they knew.
I wish they knew how funny and kind Lily is, how she has so many friends I can’t begin to keep them all straight, how she loves to dance and do underwater somersaults and sing “opera.”
I would show them the pictures she’s drawn and the books she can read and the way her face dimples when she smiles.
I would tell them how willing she is to help with nearly everything, how she roller skates around the house, how she never runs out of energy until the very last second before falling asleep.
I would tell them how well she and her siblings get along and how she and her big sister have created their own world of dolls and games and inside jokes. I would tell them how she was met at the airport by a multitude of friends and family and how they’ve all been there for her and loved her ever since.
I would show them her scar so they’d know that her heart is strong now and always will be.
And I would tell them how at night, when I check on everyone one last time before I go to bed, I look down at her beautiful, sleeping face and I’m filled with gratitude that it’s been so easy to love her.
I hope that somehow, someway they can know this and feel peace.