My wish for you is that you were greeted by this morning’s sun on your nose as you woke up next to your sister, Lola. It was important for you to spend your last moments as a 9-year-old with her…I get it.
Last night while I was washing dishes you came into the kitchen to say goodnight to me. You said, “Mom, I need to give you one last hug before I go to bed because when I wake up I’m not only going to be 10, but I am also going to be different.” I hugged you and kissed you on the forehead and as I watched you walk away, it took every last bit of strength in my heart not to stop you and tell you that you have ALWAYS been different; waking up as a 10-year-old was not going to change you!
I remember when I was pregnant with you and we were given the due date of June 29th. I didn’t want that date and asked if we could have you one week earlier. We were so excited when Dr. Montoya said that although she would like for us to wait for you to be born on time, one week wouldn’t make much of a difference. Your daddy and I prepared everything for your arrival to happen on June 23rd. We had our bags packed, Lola and Hana were at your grandma’s house, and off we went to come home with a new baby. You weren’t ready. The doctors tried to make you arrive that day, but stubborn you were! After five hours of administering medication to get you to come into this world everyone gave up and sent me back home. “Come back in a week and we will try again if she doesn’t come sooner,” Dr. Montoya said to me and your daddy as we sadly walked away.
We already knew from that day that you would be different.
June 29, 2005 was your due date. You came into this world at 11:57 pm with a shallow whimper and a head full of hair. When they placed you on my chest and you kept turning your head looking for daddy’s voice, I knew then that you were different. Your beautiful skin and your deep brown eyes were enough to calm my soul that night. Though it would be another 24 hours before I was able to see you again, you came to me in my dreams the night you were born. You were a teenager in my dream and were wearing long earrings and tall boots. I remember you asked me for permission to leave with friends to the mall and when I said you couldn’t, you argued with a million reasons why I should let you go. Even in my dream on the eve of your birth I knew you were different.
As time went on and you began to form your personality, there was never any doubt in my mind that you were going to do things your way. I remember when you were three years old and we were changing the sheets on your bed. I told you that we needed to change the pillowcase first and then we would change the fitted and flat sheet. You said to me that it didn’t make any sense because if we were to change the pillowcase first and then put it on the ground while we change the sheets on the bed, that your head would sleep on a dirty pillow. Logic; in the times that it escaped me, even at your three years of life you had it in abundance.
You are my third child, little one, and though I thought I knew it all before I had you (after all, your older sisters had already taught me all there was to know about motherhood, or so I thought!), you quickly showed me that I actually knew nothing. I thank you for showing me this.
I easily identified my siblings’ traits in your older sisters. When I would look for these traits in you, I struggled to find ways in which I could connect your traits and your idiosyncrasies to them. The more I looked and the deeper I would dig, the closer I got to the fact that you are MY daughter. I began to recognize so much of myself in you and though it scared me in the beginning, I secretly thanked Creator for making you different. I thanked Creator for taking fire and ice and compassion and GANAS and putting it all together to form this little dark child who would not be afraid to take on the world!
Azcal, being different is your biggest challenge and your biggest reward. You don’t look like other girls. You don’t run like other girls. You don’t sing and dance like other girls. You don’t think like other girls. But you know what? That’s what makes you different and that’s what makes you who you are. There have been times in your life that you have noticed these differences and you become upset. You wonder why you look the way you do or you wonder why you don’t think, run, dance, or sing like other girls. Well, my sweet Azcal, I am here to tell you that it’s ok to be different. Heck, it’s more than ok to be different. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO BE DIFFERENT.
There will be many occasions in which you will not want to talk to me about these things because you feel like I might not understand. I hope you know that just because I don’t understand everything you go through does not mean that I am unwilling to listen to you or unwilling to help you get through it. And if you still feel that I am not the right person to talk to, I encourage you to call on the family who loves you so much and talk, cry, scream, and talk again. I promise they will listen.
Thank you, my sweet 10-year-old, for showing me how much power there is in being different.
Thank you for loving life and making the most of each day we are given.
Thank you for never giving up on your goals even when the finish line seems so far away.
Thank you for teaching me the lessons that I, as your mother, should be teaching you.
Thank you for loving me fiercely and reminding me that even when I don’t get it right, it isn’t wrong.
You are valued. You are loved. You are different.
We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Happy Birthday, Azcal.