Happy 5th, Ava
I know you're not old enough to read this, my dear Ava, but some day you will. And I hope that I don't embarrass you too much when I say that I am the proudest father on the face of this earth. I've been constantly at awe by everything that you do. You amaze me daily. You've persuaded me to look at this wonderful world around me with new eyes, and made me realize that I don't have to over-analyze every little thing I work on; I should just enjoy it. Your wisdom rocks me to the core sometimes, Ava. "It's just a dot," is not just a cute, little thing you said to me about one of your drawings one day, but something that I keep close to my heart always, as I later on discovered that there were many layers to that simple, yet beautiful statement. Some things are not meant for reason, they are meant just to be. Enjoy the moment. Enjoy.
With your Ava-speak, I've learned to admire the love of nonsensical words, which, when spoken by you, actually mean something, somehow. I truly do not know how you do it. Your silly songs brighten the darkest of days in our house, and I'm kicking myself for not getting them on tape soon enough. Not only would they be ideal for me to listen to while at work, they'd be perfect for bribing you into embarrassment when you bring home your first boyfriend. (I don't even want to think about the concept of 'dating' yet, anyway.)
Five years. Five whole years? Where has the time gone? Not to dive into clichés here, but I do remember the time when I first held you and brought you over to your mommy so she could take a look at you. You did quite a number on her, making her go through hours of labor, as you wouldn't budge. The c-section was not what we had planned, but you know, Ava, you've never done anything as planned. You've always set your own pace, which definitely makes you my daughter. When it may look like to others that you are slow or distracted, I know that what you are really doing is being engaged with your surroundings, taking it all in. You are such the observant little child, noticing the smallest of details in a room, on a doll, in a drawing, or a movie. I know that you mustn't be rushed, that you will get there soon enough. Patience is, indeed, a virtue.
You are such a bright girl, Ava, and you make me laugh and cry at the same time. You are brilliant and you will shine forever, little star. I love you, Ava. Happy Birthday.
To see some of our favorite photos of Ava, taken during her fifth year, click here.