Tomorrow Ave will be three. I’ve been sitting here trying to find just the right picture to represent what she’s been and who she’s been and the ways she has changed me. I can’t.
I’ve had fun going back and reliving the ride that has been the last three years. Watching video of how she used to approach Briar, try to engage her, play with her, only to literally be pushed down with an emphatic, “Ay-ree, guh-way!” from a toddler Briar. I wish I had understood more clearly than who she was. She’d pop back up, let loose a raspy chortle and continue on her way, pursuing Briar with unflagging exuberance.
I worried so much, from whether or not I could love her like I did Briar to how she would fit into the family and whether or not she’d be as pretty as her sister. That sounds so awful, but the truth is, when you go from one to two you worry, about everything. Of course I worried, everyone said, “Briar is so beautiful!” I wanted to love them equally and have them be equals in beauty, athleticism, intelligence and popularity. I wanted perfection, not from Ave, but for her.
Looking back I see how perfect the mix of acceptance and resistance was. Avery has become a part of Briar as much as she has become her own person, introducing an entirely different kind of beauty and magnetism. She is everything I hoped for and more than I ever dreamed possible.
I watch her in awe, knowing that she possesses certain things I always pined for, specifically a sense of self so potent that she will never follow—speaking as the mom that can be tough, speaking as a woman, it makes my heart roar. Avery is going to be just fine. She is going to have the kind of cool that cannot be created, she will do things her way and in the doing she will delight, confound, entrance and confuse. I am grateful that as she moves through life she’ll have Briar on one side, by-the-books and sweet and on the other side she’ll have Fin, willful, but with a lightness of being that soothes.
This is the eve of Ave’s 3rd birthday, but as she was on the day she was born, she is far beyond anything you would expect. She is magic through and through. Three years that have passed like minutes and yet I feel as if she’s been with me my whole life.
Happiest of birthdays to my Ave.
That was lovely. She's beautiful and goofy, a lot like mom.
Oh gosh. She is a gift isn't she?
Oh Amanda how can that be?? I know you just wrote that post when you were aching from weaning her. She just can't be 3 already!!
Happy Birthday Avery, jump around sweet girl, jump around.
she is beautiful, just like her mama
She IS the fierce one. So distinct and brave and amazing to watch in her fearlessness. She's the one that stands back and observes, planning the way she'll attack a challenge. She's really amazing, and so beautiful you can't look at her for too long, I swear.
Happy birthday, little Avery! Stay gold . . .
(Amanda, I gave you an award on my blog yesterday. This post is one of the reasons I dig you . . . )
Happy Birthday, baby. Here's to more nexterdays.
You make the prettiest babies. And this coming from a mother of crazy-beautiful babies.
Happy day to you both. And thank you for showing me the way when I struggled, thinking their wouldn't be room for two in my heart.
Happy birthday, Ave and Mom.
There's just something about that middle child, isn't there?
Happy birthday to yours.
Happy Birthday to your beautiful 3 year old!!
That video was perfect…
Things like that make me wish for a girl!! 😉
Avery has always seemed to me to be a very special little girl.
Oh she's wonderful! LOVE the video. Warning tho, my daughter was three – yesterday – and tomorrow she graduates from college. Maybe you will be the one to slow it all down!
Happy Birthday precious Avery!
Happiest of birthdays to her – she is lucky to have you as her mama
Happy birthday Avery!
Wow! Happy, happy, happy to you all.
She really is a doll baby. Still, at three.
Hope she has a fantastic day.
love that top picture. love that video…she's a hoot. 🙂
and your words for her? lovely.
oh honey. happy birthday. she's a taurus after all. we are of strong stock.
"Three years that have passed like minutes and yet I feel as if she's been with me my whole life." I know that feeling, and it's wonderful.
I somehow thought she was older than that, but turns out she's only about three and a half months older than Fly.