This past Monday, you celebrated your fourth birthday. Four. Four wonderful years with the most amazing child, wise far too far beyond her years. I won't lie; this has been an extremely difficult year, and unfortunately, the one before that wasn't exactly a walk in the park either. Or the one before that. The truth is, we haven't made life easy for ourselves, and happenstance hasn't been quite kindly either. My heart breaks for you every day, Hazelnut, because you are such a hard working, noble, deep thinking perfectionist, whose inner life far exceeds your tiny physicality and demands more of you than your earthy embodiment can possibly achieve. And while you leave no room for error and demand ever more of yourself, our lives have not created the space or time I wish you had to confront those limitations and find a way to exorcise or circumvent them. Instead of learning how to handle the BIGness of you, you have had to learn to handle sickness and death around you, the uncertainty of the many (many) moves we've made, new jobs new faces new routines new places new rules new ideas new problems new dreams…the list goes on.
You are a strong, vibrant, beautiful, thoughtful, unbelievably amazing person, Hazel Rose. I see how much you feel, how much you take on, and I see how much it hurts you when the people around you are hurting. I feel the struggle you go through every day just to stay on top of the huge feelings that surge like waves and try to overtake you. And I admire you so much, for not only weathering that storm, but for trying to do it with compassion for everyone around you in the same moment. You seem to expect to be able to harness these powers and control your feelings and responses and the fact that your four-year-old internal chemistry is still trying to rev and catch up to your amazing mind and soul leaves you devastated on a daily basis, and yet, you plug on, and keep reaching, keep trying, keep working your amazing little butt off to try to make the world the kind of place you'd actually like to hang around.
You have more chutzpa and determination and strength than most of the adults around you, kid. I don't know how you do it - you struggle with anxiety bigger than anything most people can feel, but then you find a way through it and become the biggest, smiliest, most vibrant and luminous personality anyone can fathom, with the connected confidence that usually only manifests itself in particularly 'enlightened' adults.
You are simply a wonder to behold, Hazelnut. You inspire me to work to be a better person, to adapt to help you find your footing, to find my own inner light. We are working together, all of us in this family, to find a better way, to make those mountains of angst melt away, and I promise you that I will NEVER give up on you, no matter how hard it is, and we will find a way through this, together, as a family. Because YOU are WORTH IT. Worth everything and so much more.
I love you beyond all words.
Happy Birthday, Hazel.
You are a rockstar.