Dear Maia

Dear Maia, 

Yesterday you turned 11. I keep counting the years to make sure I’m getting it right because it’s hard to believe so many have passed since you came into my life.

The moment I laid my eyes on your little (slightly jaundiced) face was the single most defining moment of my life. I was reborn on that day. You know the story of how you came about and, though the months carrying you inside me were not easy, they were also the happiest I had experienced until then. And then, seeing you, holding you, kissing your sweet-smelling head…my heart still races every time I remember those first few days.

I am writing this because I want you to know that I see that baby whenever I think of you. I see the eyes that looked straight into mine as soon as you were born, the lips I fell in love with that stormy evening and I hear the same voice that would not stop ringing in my ears that first night, even when you were fast asleep. I don’t love you as much as I did then. My love for you has grown and changed, become more complex, more complete. I thought my heart would fail me 11 years ago, so strong were my feelings for you. I didn’t know then that what was happening was a transformation of my heart. It was growing a few sizes, making room for the rest of your family to follow a few years later. 

So on the days we don’t get along and I seem to you to be the most unloving of mothers, never understanding what you really want, remember these words. You are and will always be the keeper of a big chunk of my heart. 

I love you more,

Mama

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