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A year flies by so quickly.

September is a difficult month, but will forever be my favorite. I've spent hours birthday shopping and looking at presents online, but it's hard shopping for small people.  I'm sure she has plenty of nice things already but I would like to get her something special.  I just can't think of anything. I used to think I was good at birthday shopping and finding the perfect gift for everyone but what do you do when someone is so young?  Am I trying to overcompensate for sending her away?


I give her a lot of nicknames in my mind- my angel, my princess, my miracle, my changeling.  She's a wonderful and strange little girl. Very boisterous and noisy with a funny looking little nose and beautiful copper hair. She looks a little bit like me but is definitely no one but herself and she's perfect. She likes mud puddles, sock puppets, putting things in her mouth, and screeching back at Sammy, who is probably too old to care now. She also thinks cats' tails are wonderful things. I'm sure she'll learn to be careful. I think felines are good for children because they teach them to respect bounderies, but so far they've been very patient with her.

Maybe I could get her shoes. Freebird sells wonderful mini versions of most of their styles and I have a wonderful pair of teal, dragon-skin heels from them. If I got her a pair, we could match. They wouldn't fit her for very long though; babies seem to eclipse themselves overnight. Still, it would make for very cute pictures, which quickly become treasures themselves. She's too small for dolls still (thank God- I hate dolls!) but maybe a nice, soft stuffed animal or blanket would be a good gift. Or some maracas. I could always get her more clothes.

Mom says she seems to like the color orange and jingle bells make her giggle. They're going to make her a pumpkin for Halloween. I think dad is looking forward to having someone to trick-or-treat with again, especially since someone is too small to eat more than just a little bit of her candy herself.

Maybe I could get her a nice blanket with pumpkins on it. Or a nice autumn leaves print... it's a good time of year to find orange-colored things.

I'm excited to see my angel again soon. It's scary how much things change over a few months, but beautiful too. She was so unbelievably tiny when she was born and part of me is terrified to see how much she's grown in just a few months. I keep checking my calendar anxiously every morning, spamming my parents with texts, and pre-planning my route.  I know exactly what hotel I want to stay at- the one in a dusty Nebraska town with all the cats in the lobby. I've missed home so much. I'll need to get my car serviced before I leave, and maybe new tires, but nothing will keep me from my girl's birthday.

Sometimes the worst nightmares leave us with best miracles. I hope she remembers me.  I see her on video calls all the time, but it makes me nervous thinking about it. She's honestly more excited when the cats are in frame than when she sees me, but she still giggles and coos at me. And yells, I think mostly because she likes hearing herself make noise. You can tell by the way her eyes sparkle whenever she does it- she's waiting for a reaction. I hope she keeps that spark of hers and that no one in this world ever beats it out of her.

I'm worried she won't know who I am. But then I remind myself how my friend kept memories of her daughter's father alive and it makes me feel a little bit better. At least I'm still here, and not just a smiling memory preserved in a glass frame. She will know that I'm her mama, even if that word means something different to her, and I'm sure her grandparents will make certain she knows she's loved. My sweet miracle baby- my angel.


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