On the Eve of Sophie’s 3rd Birthday

It’s almost 2am. The presents are wrapped, the paper tissue flowers are made and hung, the cakes are cooling (but still need iced) and the card is half-written (still searching for the right words). Right now I’m thinking about:

• all the late nights my mom and dad put in for me that I never knew about.

• the tablecloth and if I really need to take the time to iron it.

• how I was feeling three years ago—in labor, anxious, happy.

• my sister Katy who is due to have her first baby any moment—and the many joys she has ahead of her.

• how much I would freak Sophie out if I went into her room and kissed her at 2:27am (her time of birth).

• the two gifts she specifically requested (a Ladybug Girl costume and a crown) and if what we got her will live up to her expectations.

• how crippled I was with worry her first few months, fearing I would drop her or not feed her enough or feed her too much or not hold her correctly or not mother her well enough—and now, how, she’s this amazing, surprising, intelligent, beautiful little girl (with no help from me) who sings to herself (constantly) and makes up the best stories (that always end “happily ever after”) and loves her brothers (most of the time) and likes pickles (which Andy and I totally don’t get) and makes me—all of us—at some point, Happy Storlanees every single day. (All that worry, for nothing.)


Even though I’m tired (so tired) everything is tinged with excitement for me right now. I feel like how I used to feel like on the eve of my birthday—a feeling I don’t get on my birthday anymore. Instead, I feel it now, in this moment—on the eve of my daughter’s birthday.

I suppose that’s what being a parent is all about.

“Suddenly, through birthing a daughter, a woman finds herself face to face not only with an infant, a little girl, a woman-to-be, but also with her own unresolved conflicts from the past and her hopes and dreams for the future…. As though experiencing an earthquake, mothers of daughters may find their lives shifted, their deep feelings unearthed, the balance struck in all relationships once again off kilter.” —Elizabeth Debold and Idelisse Malave