Every year since she was born I have woken Naiya up at the minute of her birth. It's in the middle of the night before she wakes up one year older. I head into her dark room and gaze at this wonder that has changed my life. I sing her a birthday song; she wakes up, looks at me and usually just falls back to sleep. I remember that moment she came to us and how I knew everything had changed but I had no idea what that really meant. When she's asleep and still and so peaceful, all I see is what an incredible gift she has been.
When she's fourteen she might not appreciate this special ritual I have begun. Or maybe she'll lay in bed straining to stay awake in anticipation of her mother's loving harassment. Time will tell.
This year we began another pre-birthday ritual with this special poem just before we turned off the lights.
When I have snuggled into bed,
With pillows soft beneath my head,
And mommy switches off the light,
I'll still be three years old tonight.
But from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the darkness turns to gold
Tomorrow, I'll be four years old.
Four kisses when I wake.
Four candles on my cake.