Today is my daughter Leah’s 15th birthday. She has grown and matured so much during the past year that it just takes my breath away. I’ve been documenting the day of her birth in all sorts of ways since I started this blog. I rambled on and on about her 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th birthdays, but this year the only thing I feel like expressing, the only thing that seems to matter is my love for my first-born child. I feel so full of love for Leah that I am *almost* rendered speechless. She is an amazing person, so full of kindness, authenticity, talent, and creativity. Her love and support during this year of heartbreak, challenge, and joy has been truly life-saving.
The other day I was going through our ancient desktop computer looking for some old files. When my laptop was stolen last year, I lost many photos and videos, including most of the digital footage I had of Leah. As I searched our older computer, my mouth dropped open when I came across two short videos of my daughter that were taken with the first digital camera I ever owned. Tears came to my eyes as I watched the little girl she once was. I feel honored to be able to watch Leah blossom into the woman she is becoming but sometimes it’s hard to let go of that little girl.
To mark her 15th birthday, we all went to Color Me Mine and hand-painted mugs for Leah which are now being fired in a kiln. I hadn't been in that place since we did the same thing four years ago today when Leah turned 11. Our group today included me, Kendall, Charlie, Leah's mom Sophie, Sophie's parents Claude and Martine who are visiting from Paris, Kendall's mom Betsy, Leah, and three of her close friends. A real blended mishpocha! Charlie even dipped his feet in paint and left his footprints on a mug for his big sister. Hard to believe that when my son turns 15, Leah will be 30 years old! Egads!
I love you, Leah, and wish you the best that life has to offer as you continue to follow your passion and dance to your own beat. I am so happy to be your dad.