My dearest little Lora Leigh,
I simply cannot believe you are 10. Where in the world did the time go? Wasn't it just yesterday that Gail put your tiny little self in my arms? Wasn't it?
Sometimes it feels like it. And sometimes it feels like a million years ago. But I still remember every detail of that day you were born...
... and the day you became ours.
So now you are 10. And nearly as tall as me. And wearing my shoes. And some of my clothes.
And leaving them on the floor.
I finally gave in and let you have a Facebook so you could keep up with your sister in Houma and your sister in Florida, and you promptly signed up to play a dozen silly games and changed your last name.
Sometimes I just shake my head.
What an adventure you have been. Still are.
If not for you I would not know what a Muggle is or a Slytherin or a Golden Snitch. And I wouldn't still have icicle lights hanging in my dining room and puke-flavored jelly beans left over from your party. (And I wouldn't have gotten to see Aunt Jo eat one flavored like pizza!)
If not for you I wouldn't know who all those kids are on the Disney Channel. Or Justin Bieber, or the Jonas Brothers, or Hannah Montana or, heck, half of the artists on the radio.
And I might be shocked that the Naked Brothers Band played at the House of Blues.
If not for you I wouldn't have seen Miley Cyrus live in concert. Or the Jonas Brothers. Or the Naked Brothers.
If not for you I would be up and walking with my dogs at 6 a.m. instead of snuggled deep under the covers with you.
(It's a ritual we've kept since you were born. Every morning your dad would scoop you out of your crib and put you in my arms so we could snuggle. Now you come to me on your own, even setting your alarm clock a half an hour early to do so.)
If not for you I wouldn't have an entire collection of Disney Princess dolls gathering dust.
Or crayons on my floors.
Or a Pepto Bismol pink room in my house.
Without you, my world would not be in color.
Without you I wouldn't have gotten to experience the greatest love of my life, the greatest thrill, the greatest joy, the greatest fears.
Without you, I'd be so bored. And a little less loved. And a lot less happy.
Happy birthday, my little love. I hope all of your birthday wishes come true.