Birthday

One of the things I learned years before Alyssa was born is that when you communicate with someone, you must do it in THEIR language. It makes conversations easier and more effective, so when I became a mother, I remembered that bit of information.

When Alyssa was young and we were talking, I would sit on the floor or kneel so that I was at her eye level and could look at her face and vice versa. As she grew older, I used hundreds of ways to get my messages across to her…Post-it notes on her bathroom mirror, penciled words on the next empty page in her school notebook, messages on lunch napkins and her favorite – text messaging. I wonder how many texts we have sent to each other while we were both in the same house and sometimes in the same room!

the redhead riter  and alyssa's birthday text

Alyssa can text on her phone as fast as I can type on the computer. It still baffles me that she is so fast. Since Alyssa has had a cell phone since first grade, I guess it just goes to show that practice makes perfect.

the redhead riters daughter, alyssa, posing

Over the past year I have watched Alyssa bloom into a beautiful young woman. She isn’t afraid to go to new places and try new things. I’m proud of her constant craving for knowledge and how she strives to become a better person.

the redhead riters daughter, alyssa, fishing and chicken wings

It still feels strange to see her do things exactly the way I do them. For instance, when Alyssa eats messy food like chicken wings, she holds the wings with two fingers so that she only gets two fingers messed up. That is exactly the way I eat them too. LOL

I can also see characteristics like her father. Alyssa’s fingernails are shaped like her dad’s, but she moves her hands like me. I marvel at the way these things are passed on from one generation to the next.

the redhead riters daughter, alyssa

Alyssa, you finally hit the big 21. I think you have been counting down to this birthday for ten years! If you find a way to make the years slow down, do it and then tell me how to do it. Time has and is flying by so fast. I wonder how it is possible that you are already 21 years old.

I tried so hard to hold onto every moment that I’ve been with you. All these years, whenever I’m with you, I will say to myself at some point, “Remember this.” I will concentrate on one particular aspect of us together and try to save it in my mind. As an example, do you remember the day that you plugged your iPod into the car speakers, put on a song that I heard for the first time and I asked, “What’s the name of that song?”

I still laugh remembering your expression and the words you said.

“I’m not telling you because every time I tell you the name of a song I really like, you play it over and over all day long for weeks, then I end up hating the song. I don’t want to hate this song, so I’m not going to tell you the name of it.”

Right now I’m laughing. Not only were you completely accurate, but you were so cute in the matter-of-fact way that you refused to tell me the name of the song.

By the way, I never did hear that song on the radio and I never found it on the Internet. Now it has been so long that I can’t even remember the tune or the words to the song!

I may not remember that song you never told me, but I am posting a song for you that expresses many of my feelings for you. Maybe next year, even though I sing like a dying cow, I will sing our song and make it into a YouTube video.

Thank you for making me a mother by being born as my child and thank you for growing up to become my friend. I love you very much and you truly are my sunshine.


Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance Lyrics

I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat, but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances, but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake, but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some Hellbent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out, reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

Dance
(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along)
I hope you dance
I hope you dance
(Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder, where those years have gone?)

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