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My Mighty Girl: Happy birthday, Chiara


When I sat down to write this birthday post for my baby, Chiara Elizabeth, who turned nine today, I found myself unable to get started. Every time I wrote something, I’d shake my head, delete, and stare at the blank space again. Nothing felt quite right, and I wondered, Why?

Well, the answer is simple enough: Chiara really can’t be defined or pigeon-holed. She is such a beautiful and interesting blend of qualities and characteristics. I always say she is somewhere between Noah and Olivia, but that’s not true. She’s her own Mighty Girl through and through. She’s silly one minute, serious the next. She’s sensitive and caring but at the same time so incredibly fearless she makes my heart skip a beat. Like when she nonchalantly does a double back handspring across our backyard (against instructions, by the way).

And so, my dear Chiara, IMG_1904I think what I want to say most on your birthday is “thank you”…

…for bringing your bouncing, giggling, cartwheeling brand of joy into my life

…for making me laugh with your jokes and comments and beautiful smile

…for reminding me that sometimes I need to stop being afraid and just jump, twirl, spin, cartwheel (or at least try)

…for being my last-chance baby, who shows me again and again what it means to go after life — or a big plate of pasta and mussels — with gusto.

Your beautiful Italian name can be translated as clear or bright or light. You are all of those things and more. I love you. xoxo


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  1. Bill #

    Once again you hit the perfect note. She’s been special since Day One. Whether it’s as a teacher or gymnast or who knows what, Chiara is going to bring joy into a lot of lives. She certainly has brought a lot of it to mine. Happy Birthday Godchild!

    July 21, 2014

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