Tag Archives: happy birthday scarlett

Happy Birthday, Scarlett!

My little girl is seven years old today. When you are diagnosed with ALS, you understand that you have a 50% chance of dying within 2 to 5 years. Scarlett was two years old when I was diagnosed, and it was reasonable for me to believe that I might not make it to her seventh birthday.

But here I am.

She woke up to balloons and a Truly Me American Girl doll, the kind that looks like her: hair that Scarlett once described as “the color of chicken nuggets”, brown eyes, and a small smattering of freckles. There was a toy that looks like Otto, and some matching outfits for Scarlett and her doll, who she named “Scarlett”, although by the time she left for school, the doll’s name might have been “Elizabeth.” It was all a little confusing.

This morning was not like her second birthday, Read More>

My Birthday Girl

Dear Scarlett,
It’s your birthday and I am using this space for your birthday letter, a letter I used to post each year on a blog I wrote just for you. Life gets complicated, baby, and these days, most of the notes and letters I write to you are private. Today, I’m posting your letter here, so that I can share my thoughts on you turning 5 with a larger group of people. And because I always love to celebrate you.

Last night, you and Daddy and I sat at the dinner table and talked about all of your birthdays. Your first, when you had the hairstyle of an aging CEO, and you ate carrot cake and bounced to BeyoncĂ© in the living room. Your second, when we started our tradition of filling the kitchen with balloons and presents. My ALS hadn’t been officially diagnosed, but we knew it was a possibility. That day, you and I took our first cable car ride together. The city rose and dipped around us, but we sat steady on a bench, holding hands and blinking against the glittering buildings. You were wearing butterfly wings.

On your 3rd birthday, we had a real party for you and your friends. Your amazing music teacher performed, and she ended the show with We’re Going to be Friends by The White Stripes, your favorite song at the time. I was limping, even in ankle braces, and I broke the news of my ALS to more than one curious parent that day. Read More>