It's my niece, Sofia's, tenth birthday today. So, RK and I headed to LA to celebrate with her. We got off the plane and she was waiting outside the doors and came running, with a huge smile on her face, and leaped into my arms. It made me realize how grown up she really is. I used to be able to put her on my back and walk the city for hours. Now, she's like a little adult.
Ten years ago today, I had no idea how totally amazing this person would become in my life. I had no idea that I would cry when she first tried to say my name and instead called me "mallah" for years. And then, the first time she wrote the letters, all totally out of order, but they were there (L-L-Y-M-O) I bawled over the piece of paper like it was a picasso. She did it to me again.
It was Sofia who solidified the name of my business, 8mm, by finding an old wooden 8mm hand-stamp on the street in nyc and looked up at my sister and said, 'you know who would love this? mallah!' And, she was right, I did.
It was Sofia who told me what clothes looked good together (at her tender age of five) and what looked absolutely horrid, while I raced around trying to get dressed for some special occasion.
It was Sofia who got me to make up stories about penguins and ladybugs and magical lands and who sang songs to me about her own magical, mystical places in her head.
Even though I'm many, many years older than her, I feel like we grew up together. For six years, we lived just blocks from each other in the city, and hung out together on a daily basis... she was the first one to ask RK if we were gonna get married, and made it clear she was going to be a flower girl on our big day.
She has a mind like a sponge and can imitate everyone in our family, just like I used to do. She once wrote in a school paper that when she grows up, she'd like to be like her aunt molly. Yes, I sobbed a cheerful ton of tears over that one, too.
She feels like my sister and my kid, and sometimes my mentor, all in one. She's smart and beautiful and a wonderful friend as well as a great daughter and fantastic niece...and I can't wait to keep growing up with her.
Happy Birthday, Sofia. How lucky we are to know you....