12 Reasons I Love My Daughter

Dear Vivien,

As I sit at my computer on the eve of your twelfth birthday, I find myself completely dumbfounded about how we got here. Was it really twelve years ago that your dad and I packed our bags, left your big brother in the care of his loving grandmother and made the life-changing journey to the hospital to bring our sweet baby girl into the world? Your dad remembers a slightly less perfect picture involving me flying down the hall in a wheelchair screaming at the nurse, “I don’t care if you have to give it to me in my EYE! Just get me the epidural!”

PoTAYto, PoTAHto.

Either way, May 21st is forever burned in my memory as one of the best, most meaningful days of my life. So how do I even begin to express how important you are to me? Well, since you’re 12 today, I thought I’d share one thing I love about you to represent each year of your life. Otherwise, we’d all be here forever. And I’d eventually have to pee.

Twelve Reasons I Love You, Vivien

1. Your first word wasn’t Mama or Dada or even Elmo. It was broccoli. Which you spoke beautifully from the very first time you said it.

2. You sang louder (and a full octave higher) than anyone in your class at your school’s closing program when you were three.

3. You actually beg to go to bed when you’re tired and have been doing so since you were four. (We never experienced that before you.)

4. Your teachers have always described you with words like “warm” and “creative.” Or “She could make friends with a sock” and “While the whole class is going clockwise to get to an answer, she goes counterclockwise and often beats everyone else there.”

5. You wore my Annie costume (made by my grandmother, your GREAT grandmother) when you performed Tomorrow in your school’s talent show.

6. You actually crave things like sashimi, Brie, fig paste and high-end chocolate … pretty much all the time.

7. You like to write stories that are interesting and always offer a surprise twist somewhere along the way.

8. You give your pets names like Kevin, Bubba Chubba and Herve.

9. You love theater, specifically musical theater, just as much as I do. And you learn the full score of complicated productions like Les Miserables after only a few listenings.

10. You can watch the same beloved movies with me over and over again, singing the scores (unless there are none, in which case we make up our own) at full volume every single time.

11. You actually cry for joy when you are truly moved. That doesn’t usually happen with most people until they’re much older.

12. You appreciate and even embrace your own uniqueness.

20140520-154130.jpg

“Dean’s the good one, but *I’m* the FUN one!” – Vivien, on the difference between her brother and herself

“You’re my best girl and nothing you do is wrong, I’m proud you belong to me; And if a day is rough for me, Having you there’s enough for me. And if someday another girl comes along, It won’t take her long to see, That I’ll still be found, just hanging around My best girl.”

– From Broadway’s Mame

20140520-154438.jpgFrom Olan Mills Baby of the Week to now … you’ll always be my best girl.

Love, Mom


Per MamaKat’s writing prompt asking for something inspired by the word “sweet.” As in my sweet baby girl.

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23 responses to “12 Reasons I Love My Daughter

  1. Happy birthday, Vivien!!! Here’s to many many more years of your uniqueness!

  2. Happy Birthday to you, sweet girl. Your pizzazz for life encourages me to smile more! Thanks for making this world a better place. Much love from the Bugajs!

  3. Happy Birthday, Vivien! 🎈🎈🎈🎈

  4. All of the above is true. Yes, #1 is true. I was there. #6 also true. This past Monday she and I were rushing through the supermarket when she suddenly stopped dead in her tracks to see a particular kind of ham that she likes. And #9 – also true. I’m always amazed how quickly she can learn the full score of a musical – even a number like One Day More, which has many voices. Happy Birthday to my favorite little girl in the world !! ❤️

  5. Happy Birthday Viv! That’s quite the list.

  6. You made me tear up Michele! And it’s not even 10am! Happy birthday Viv! She looks like such a fun girl to be around and how you describe her sounds a lot like my Emily. You and Dave created a special girl, hope she enjoys her day!

  7. Oh my gosh, this is so sweet Michele. What an amazing daughter you have. Can I come over and sing show tunes with y’all, ’cause my boys won’t do it. Happiest of Birthdays to Vivien!

  8. I hope you have a very special 12th birthday with your family. I bet with you 2 awesome parents it will be very special. Happy Birthday Vivien! 😀

  9. What a wonderful idea. I need to write something like this for my kids’ next birthdays.

  10. Happy Viv’s Birth Day, Mama!

  11. What lovely and a little amusing those reflections are… First word broccoli. Impressive 🙂

  12. Your daughter sounds amazing! What a moving tribute!

  13. theriverdaughterkj

    ahh, that was sweet. Stopping by from mama kats kelley at the road goes ever ever on

  14. Daughters are indeed blessings! Love the way you write about your sweet daughter!

    ~stopping by from Mama Kat’s WW

  15. This is beautiful. Stopping in from Honest Mom!

  16. I love this! What a wonderful girl you have, and thank you for sharing her with us on her birthday.

  17. I love this post! Your daughter sounds absolutely amazing!!! I want to do a post like this!

  18. Pingback: A Funny Text Exchange (with one of the cutest kids I know) | OldDogNewTits

  19. Pingback: 15 Reasons I Love My Son (on his 15th Birthday) | OldDogNewTits

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