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  • Kristen Kehoe

Turning 10

Today is your day, Livvy Love, and Seuss said it best when he said, "There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"

Every year, I think of what to say to you, how to tell you all of the things I love and admire about who you are, and this year, that quote stuck in my head. You are the best version of yourself at all times, Liv, even the stubborn ones, and I am so amazed. Each day, you come home from school and we learn of a new game you played at recess, and the entire back story of every character who had a role, and all daddy and I can think is, All of this in ten minutes? Hell yes, all of this in ten minutes. You fit a story into everything you do, Olivia, and every person around you has a role in that story, a part to play and a moment in the sun, and I love it. Usually on your birthday, I try to write down all of the moments from the past year that define who you are, things that make me laugh and cry because they are so extra, and so perfectly Olivia. This year, those things include Garfield comics, a ballgown birthday party, and your first deep dive into song writing with "Dirty Liar." It's a doozy, carrying lyrics such as "a face covered in mud because you're a, you're a liar...a dirty dirty liar." (In looking at those on paper, I am pondering whether you may need an introduction to something other than country music...maybe you should ride to school with Daddy in the morning for a few months, broaden those horizons:))

This year, when I was looking back at all of the photos and remembering all of our moments together, I realized it wasn't just what you did that was making me smile, but it's who you make me. You are so happy, Liv, so in love with the world and all of the people in it, and watching you laugh, or listening to you gush about your day in music class or the couplet poem you wrote during writing, reminds me of the love I feel for life, too, so thank you.

When we went to conferences this year, you read us this letter, stopping halfway through when I started crying. You were confused, as you should be when you write something so happy and beautiful, only to look up and see your mother sobbing. Daddy assured you they were happy tears, and he was right. I tried to explain it then, but it's difficult to tell your daughter how sad the world can be sometimes, how heavy, but that her words--the heart she put into them--made that burden less. That's what you do for me, Liv, even on days when I'm rushing to get us out the door and I need you to reach into my pockets for the keys because both of my hands are full with coffee cups, and I forgot my rain jacket or you forgot your piano bag...Listening to your words and seeing the world through your eyes, I don't see the heavy things. All I see is happy.

You are happiness, Olivia, whether you are on stage singing, pretending to ride your pony around the bases at softball practice, or putting your baby in its backpack and riding to the park to meet London, you are happiness and love and YOU.

You are always you, Livvy: a little bit extra, a lot goofy, and so much sunshine. I'm here for every minute of it...even if I'm yelling at you to drop the keys and save the coffee:)

Happy birthday, my darling girl. I hope ten brings you an even better story to tell. Can't wait to hear it.


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