i read it curled up in a chair so many miles from home.
i read it and wrote it down in that journal with pages all crinkled and worn.
i wrote it down because those words, all three of them, reminded me of you.
exuberance is beauty.
your name is written beside it, encased in brackets and completed with an exclamation mark. because it's true, olivia. it really is.
your exuberance that left me flabbergasted and tired and worn out at the end of the day has finally worn through this guarded heart of mine.
and i wonder why i ever guarded it in the first place?
how did i miss the beauty that surrounds each moment with you?
because it does.
you love strong.
you feel passionately.
you live loud.
exuberance should be defined solely by your name,
because you live out beauty.
i watched you last weekend, clutching tightly to that tire swing as you yelled for your cousins and your uncle to push you higher...
you always want to go higher,
to reach out and fly,
and to not just watch life go by,
you want to experience life to the fullest.
i don't always understand that.
me, your mama who would rather sit quietly and read or knit or play scrabble or observe from somewhere safe and still...
you grab my hands and pull hard.
5 years ago at this very moment, i was waiting to meet you,
breathing through the hard,
pushing through the ache,
straining to get through each agonizing minute that was bringing me closer to you...
tonight i placed a crown on your place at our table and you'll find it as you come upstairs in the morning -
i can already hear your shout.
because it doesn't really matter how sparkly it is,
what matters is that you know that someone has seen your beauty and named it.
mr. blake may have penned those words, sweet olivia grace,
but i live them,
happy birthday, baby girl. i love you so very, very much.
all my love,