A few years ago, before we had you, before I even dared to dream about your beautiful face, your Dad and I travelled by train trough the Sri Lanka jungle (yes your parents do cool things from time to time). And it was so amazing - you would love it. The people were singing in the train, kids touching my face amazed how different it looked to theirs - I know it would make you laugh. You could smell fresh samosas somebody was selling on the station and you could hear the jungle... And all the colours in the world outside were breathtaking. It was such a relief to be out of the commercial space of our hotel, being among real people, far away from our every day life in this fascinating country, everything was so different... You know your Dad and I are always telling you how wonderful reading books is? Well travelling is even better.
I felt so alive, so touched, inspired, free. I felt it with every little inch of my body. I looked in your Daddy's eyes and for once, despite all the differences between us, I saw that we felt the same. It was such a wonderful feeling. And then I looked out of the window and I saw a Golden Buddha statute on the horizon, covered in the golden light of the rising sun. So exceptionally beautiful, beyond words, unreal like a dream and still it was happening and I wanted it to last forever I thought nothing ever going to match it.
And then on the 22nd of November 2008 you were born, and the first moment you opened your eyes I knew that everything, the best in life, is still before me. The moment you opened those amazing huge eyes of yours I knew that you are everything and I don't have to travel anywhere else to feel this absolute happiness.
And, Odessa, I would like to tell you something important now, something I wished I knew when I was a kid: your parents are not always right. Nobody is always right. We all make mistakes just like we all sometimes cry or scream and that's OK - I have told you that already. For the mistakes I have made with you and for those I'll surely make in future, I would like to say I'm sorry... I always want the best for you but still don't always do the right thing. No, your parents are not perfect - but I can promise you one thing: since the day you were born when I look in your Dad's eyes I know just like I knew back then, far away in that Sri Lanka train that he feels what I feel... Even when we are sad or angry, despite still being very different people, now we always feel the same: unconditional love for you.
Maybe one day we go all to Sri Lanka together and we'll take this train. And maybe we'll manage to pass this Buddha and there is going be sunshine on it's calm face, yet still it wouldn't be enough to show you how much you mean to me.
My dear daughter this isn't a story about cats or rabbits or even Tiger who came for Tea... this is a story about you. This is a story about how you changed the whole world around me, and for that once again I would like to say thank you, you are perfect, I love you.
Happy Birthday darling, mama.