There's this kid in my house. She's been living here for two years now. She came at a time when we really had our hands full. We were dealing with a stubborn case of epilepsy, the rigors of the ketogenic diet, and trying to figure out how to deal with an emotional kid who wouldn't eat.
The new kid was pretty good, really. She let us do what we needed to do and didn't put up much of a fuss. Of course, when she wanted some attention, she let us know it. I mean, she REALLY let us know it. The kid could scream. She could go from zero to a thousand decibels in a millisecond and didn't waste any time going from one to the other.
In a lot of ways, though, she seemed like a stranger to me. Here was this kid who appeared in our house one day, but we were busy so we told her to "make yourself comfortable". Unlike with our first, where I was more actively involved, her mom took care of most of the work. I didn't feel like I really got the chance to bond with her in the same way as the first and, to be honest, there was a time when I wondered if I would ever truly love the child.
I always felt bad that she wasn't getting the attention she deserved, but she really seemed quite content most of the time. She was confident and independent and determined to do things her own way right from the start.
Since that day when she first appeared in our house, many things have changed. She's still confident and independent and determined, but as she gets older I'm beginning to see new aspects of her personality emerge. She is as smart as a whip. She's as stubborn as her mother (or more so). She is a daredevil who knows no fear. She is a huge clown who loves to make faces and get people laughing. Her smile and laughter are absolutely infectious.
And I love her more deeply than I can express.
Yesterday was her birthday, but she is the gift.
Happy Birthday, Halia.