Oh, little Bee, your very first birthday is nearly here. One year ago, you came like sunshine into our lives, yet I barely know you. I’ve seen you twice, when you were two months and six months old, and you’re beautiful. That was half your life ago: who are you now, little Bee? Are you a happy child? I heard you’d taken your first steps: do you walk with confidence now? Or do you lurch along after your brother and sister like a little diaper-zombie with a giggle? Do you still have a fuzz of golden hair, or is it growing as rapidly as Maddy’s did at your age? Are there wild ringlets at your neck and ears? Does Maddy put ribbons in your hair? I dream, sometimes, of running my fingers through your curls and tickling your cheek to make you laugh. I’m sure you have a perfect little laugh, all bubbly and bright. A laugh made for zubers and ice cream. Are there words in your babbling? I bet you can say “Max” by now. How many teeth do you have now? Four? Six? More? Do you nibble your crayons like Daddy did?
I have just four of your mother’s beautiful photos of you, little Sabrina-Bee, from half your life ago. And a handful I snapped when we met. Babies are so fleeting: I wonder what you look like now. Perhaps, someday, we can sit down together and go through your photo album and I can finally watch you grow up. I know there are hundreds of photos, kept safe, capturing every day of your life, filled with echoes of baby laughter and excitement. Someday, little star-in-my-sky.
I have gifts for you, little star. I can only guess if they’ll be right for you and not be too young. I still don’t have a job, so I can’t send much. Mostly, what I have for you are the toys I bought when your brother and sister were born, to make a treasure box for them to play with when they came to visit. They’ve never been used, so I hope you won’t mind. I’ll try to guess your size and find something cute for you to wear. That’s something I dreamed of since I was little more than a child myself, buying and making outfits for my littles to wear. I’ll imagine how cute you look wearing it, though I’ll probably never know, until we look at your album someday.
Happy Birthday, my Sabrina. I miss you. You’re part of the web of my life, with your eyes the color of my father’s, your tiny face so like mine and your daddy’s, with eyes shaped like your mother’s and sister’s and brother’s. We’re connected, always and forever, with ribbons of spirit and the breath of life and the very rhythm of my heart. We’re really just a dream apart.