I see you when you give your sister the last piece of gum. I see you when you let your little sister sleep with you because she is scared of being alone. I see you when you have a snack prepared for your big sister when she has a big day ahead. I see the notes and drawings you leave on my desk and nightstand.
I appreciate you. I appreciate that you are the only kid who wont leave this house without a kiss from me. I appreciate that when you see me cleaning you are the first to ask who's coming over (lol) and if you can help. Then you actually help with a smile on your face. I appreciate your independence. That you wake yourself up, get dressed, brush your hair and are waiting for me on most school mornings.
I look at that dark, wavy hair and chocolate eyes and see generations of Italians looking back at me. You have the generosity of your great-grandfather, who would invite the poor and homeless home for dinner. You have the temper of your great-grandmother, who would switch into Italian when she really got going so the grand kids would not understand. You have the work ethic of you grandfather, who worked two full time jobs for over 20 years to provide for his family.
I worry about you. I worry that in classroom full of squeaky wheels you might get lost in the shuffle. I worry that your sensitive heart might lead you to know the pain of that double edged sword of depression and anxiety that seems to run in my family. I worry that you don't realize just how amazing you are.
I look back on your ten years on this earth and there are so many moments that me proud. But perhaps the most special is when a classmate's mom approached me and said "I don't want to embarrass you, but my daughter had a rough year. She was teased and made fun of and generally miserable. I don't know what would have happened if she didn't have your daughter to be her friend, to stick up for her and to comfort her. Your daughter is really wonderful."
In the daily hustle and bustle of our lives, I forget to tell you how happy you make me. I don't tell you enough that you make our family complete and I could not imagine a life without you in it. I write it here, my dear child, in case I forget to say it and you forget I feel it. Read it here and know you are loved.