....for kicking my lungs and ribs so hard I couldn't breathe sometimes. The first time you did, I was in the bath tub and it was the first time I'd ever felt you really kick like that. I knew you were going to be strong.
Thank you for each and every labor pain, even the ones that were so bad that I was made delirious and unable to scream or cry or move.
Thank you for every sleepless night spent walking you around, patting your tiny back, waiting for your tiny burp.
Thank you for every dirty diaper, and for every time you peed in the diaper I'd *just* put on.
Thank you for every bit of spit-up in my hair and on my shirt. You taught me that vanity is nothing next to the love you feel for your child.
Thank you for every fit you threw as a toddler, every bit of food I had to scrape off the floor and every crayon mark I had to remove from the walls.
Thank you for every midnight ER visit and every time you wet the bed when you were sick because you were too out-of-it to get up and go to the toilet.
Thank you for every morning Daddy and I didn't get to sleep in because you decided that it was a sunny day and time to get up.
Thank you for every smart-alec reply and every back-talk.
Thank you for all the Goldfish crackers I've had to vacuum off the car floor and all the mud I've had to clean up off the house floors.
Thank you for all the days I couldn't go out with my friends because you had a basketball game or a piano lesson or a Robotics meeting.
Up until today I have only thanked you when you behave, when you smile, when you're kind, when you're considerate, when you laugh, when you're funny, when you're "good". But when the realization comes upon me that one day you'll leave our house and go out on your own, it occurs to me that I'm grateful for all the rest too, and I am and always will be so, incredibly, unfailingly grateful for every moment I have with you. No matter what you're doing or saying, and no matter what action I have to take because of it. I love you when you're messy; I love you when you're cranky; I love you when you're ornery; I love you when you're selfish; I love you when you refuse to clean that room.
And when the day comes that you'll fly away, none of those things will be enough to keep me from wanting you back with all my heart.
Thank you for being my daughter all the way, and everything that comes with it.