Today is Jubilee's 3rd birthday, though we aren't going to celebrate until tomorrow evening when we gather 'round the fire beside Grandpa and Grandma's RV at our campsite in Ludington.
This might be her 3rd birthday, but it is her 1st birthday with us, and probably her 1st birthday celebration ever. Because she came to us one month after she turned 2, she has been with us almost a full year with no party in her honor. Sweet Jubi Sue has watched three brothers and two parents celebrate their birthdays, each time asking, "When my birfday? When my July come?"
Well, baby girl, it is finally your turn. Tomorrow we will tape balloons and streamers to our picnic table, provided that it doesn't rain, and presently there is a cocoa fudge cake (a family recipe and a birthday tradition for decades) in Grandma's oven. I hope the cake doesn't sink in the middle. I hope you like the wooden beads and string that I will wrap in pretty paper later today. Your fingers are so nimble and you still have no interest in dolls.
I hope, most of all, that you know how I love you, and that to measure how precious you are to me, I would need all the beads and string in the world. Your presence in my life, as my daughter, has brought me to the end of myself and back, and your sweet kisses on my cheek are like sprinkles on a cake that the two of us have slaved over for the last 11 months. God is good, He loves you, we love you, and you are wonderful, Jubilee Sue.
Happy, happy, happy birthday!