Today you turn 8. I remember when you were born. I was teaching at the middle school and mom called in between classes. She said Lisa had had you that morning, I think, and so that night we drove down to meet you for the first time.
Your mom's room was filled with people. They brought you in and you cried and cried. Granny was holding you and you wouldn't, couldn't, stop crying. So she handed you to me and I took you in my arms for the first time, sat down in the rocking chair in the room, and you immediately calmed down. We had an instant connection.
Since then I have watched you grow up whenever I could. Sadly, 2 months after you were born I moved to the cities, so I worked hard to see you whenever I returned. I wanted to keep our connection going.
The year you turned 3, your mom and I and granny began holding girls days. Well, it actually started with your mom, granny and I going out to lunch for your mom's birthday. You wanted to come along but Lisa said, "Honey, not this time. It's just us girls." You cried and said, "But I'm a girl!" So a few weeks later we all met at Applebees. You had pigtails and looked ever so cute. I wish I had a scanner so I could put the picture here, but I don't. We had a great time and thus girls days were born. Soon joey joined us and now we have a whole crew meeting with Ava too.
A couple years ago I couldn't figure out what to give you for your birthday. So I decided I would give you a day with me. I figured life is too short to just give you presents all the time that you would grow up beyond, but a day with me you would remember for a long time (and I'd take pictures so you'd remember forever). I arranged for us to go to the base and go out on the flight line to see the jets take off. We went out to Last Chance with the SOF and they were really loud as they went by. You looked so cute in your little ear defenders. :) Again, I wish I had a scanner - or at least the discs with your pictures (I didn't have my digital cameras yet).
After we watched the jets take off, we went to the zoo and walked all over looking at the animals and enjoying the sun. We ate lunch at McDonald's, went to Target to spend your birthday money, went to Cold Stone for dessert, and then played mini golf. You really liked to move the ball around there..."improving your lie" it's called (in so many ways). At the end of the day we played at a park and then met your mom for supper. I made you and I a photo album with captions (on neon labels, no less) so we both could remember the day. It was such a fun time.
You returned the favor after Christmas last year. I had gotten you an Easy Bake oven. You had wanted to be a chef for Halloween but your mom had said no. I'm the evil, I mean GOOD, aunt and I bought you the whole kit and kaboodle for Christmas (after we teased you and told you that you were getting an 'electric notepad' - which turned out to be scratch paper leftover from Granny from the 1960's). Over Christmas break you and mom tried out the Easy Bake oven, made treats and took pictures. When I moved in to my apartment, you and Lisa came over and we had a mini-girls day, and you presented me with the photo album of you using your oven. I loved it.
This year I was just going to get you another Emmy/Moe day for your birthday but I think I'll do that anyway and still get you a present. I don't need a holiday to give you time with me. We should be doing that anyway.
I love you, little girl. You are a doll. I hope you have a very happy birthday.
Love, Aunt moe