Nine years ago this week, our family was in shock, facing down a future we couldn’t imagine or understand. Nine years ago we gazed into those beautiful almond eyes for the first time and could only see a troubled future for our precious, beautiful baby girl.

It was Margot herself who taught us to hope again. Her determination, her infectious smile, her sly, loopy humor, and her relish for life showed us how even our tragedies are shot through with unexpected light and grace. And she's given us plenty to celebrate ever since.  

Still, I usually struggle each year at this time as we mark that momentous event and remember the many tears shed. I recall how our girl’s arrival was not met with celebration and joy as it should have been. Instead, a haze of grief and fear permeates my memories of those early days.

This year, a friend’s precious gift to me was to inspire a surprise party in the park to mark Margot’s ninth birthday. The only thing Margot loves more than a party is a surprise. Put them together and you have one happy little girl.

The love and joy of the event soothed my soul more than I can explain and healed old wounds from those dark early days.  We were touched that friends gathered round us to celebrate our girl’s life and show that she's very loved indeed.

But the party wasn't about my motherly emotional needs. It was about Margot and her friends having a great time.

And so they played silly games,

ate cupcakes,

and made kites.

It was a prefect day for flying.

Even the youngest of the crowd got their kites airborne.

And no, the symbolism of the soaring kites wasn’t lost on me.  Happy ninth, Margot. This one may have ended up meaning even more to me than it did to you.


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