I’ve tried to write this over and over again. There is so much I want to tell you. I want to tell you about the sound of your voice, the throaty whisper you have. I want to tell you about how you wait to answer questions, almost as if gauging just how much we want to hear you say something. You call Briar “bawbee” and are fascinated by donkeys. You love cucumbers and carrots, but you hate tomatoes and strawberries.

I want to tell you about brushing your teeth tonight. You wanted to touch the light, so I let you. Somehow you made the center bulb work again, it hadn’t in months. We were both so surprised by the light. You laughed and looked at me, making sure I saw, making sure I enjoyed. Your face could have lit an entire town.

I guess the easiest thing to do would be to say that I am like that bathroom light. The day I Iearned I was pregnant with you, the day they laid you in my arms and every day since, I have shone as bright as that bulb.

You are my joy and my light.

I love you sweet, sweet Avery.

Happy Birthday.