Eleven has always been my favorite number, the perfect symmetry of it. I couldn't help thinking of that this morning when I woke up and remembered it was your birthday.
It was eleven years ago, in the early morning hours, that I started laboring with you. That intense struggle between mother and child that begins in those first moments of contraction and doesn't end until you say goodby to me from the front door of a college dorm room or walk a new bride down the aisle after the I-do's.
Either way, I'll know I've lost a bit of you once you stop fighting my every advice, my every embrace, my every breath. That giving in means a giving up and it comes too soon.
So, eleven year old you. I love all your eye rolls at my bad jokes and my reprimands and at my very existence. I love that you walk off in a huff when your room needs cleaning and homework is due. I even love picking up after you and washing your clothes because one day too soon, my intensely beautiful eleven year old, you won't be there with eye rolls and heavy steps and dirty clothes and I'll miss you so much.
But until then, I treasure the hugs I sneak when your passing me on the way to your next adventure and the kisses I plant on the top of your head as you sleepily bend over breakfast. I treasure the moments of pure joy on your face as you experience life in the way only an eleven year old can.
Since that very last push that rent a scream from us both, I've loved every moment of your eleven years.