Isla! You are 4.


My wish is that you get to experience concerts sometime in your life. Some of my best experiences have been with your dad, your oldest sister, and our friends at concerts listening to live music and becoming part of a community.

And if not, just ask Pearl to put on the Zombie’s 2 Soundtrack and we will do our best to put on a show for you.


My wish is that you get to experience a buffet sometime in your life. Buffets were a big part of my childhood. Your uncle Tanner and I got to eat at Ponderosa when we had good report cards. We loaded our plates up with fried chicken and nachos, then ran to the ice cream station to use every topping available to create a mountain of candy atop our soft serve swirl.

And if not, we will recreate one for you in our kitchen someday-bowls of peaches and all-just wait.


My wish is that you get to experience school in the future. It is not safe just yet, but I hope that you will be able to safely join a classroom of peers to learn from and a teacher who guides you to becoming a reader and writer and perhaps, a mathematician or scientist.

And if not, we know Meme loved teaching you the last few months and might be available in the future.


My wish is that you get to experience a movie theatre: one that you will remember. I know you fell in love with The Grinch two years ago, but I wonder if you will ever remember the smell of popcorn and grease, the lights, boxes of Goobers, sticky floor, and the fountain pop that makes movie theaters a magical place to share with others.

And if not, we will tell you the story of how you sat in my lap falling in love with that green guy and his dog, and then met Black Santa afterwards and got a candy cane.


My wish is that you get to attend a dance; they’re not all they are cracked up to be, don’t get me wrong, but the part of high school that seems more memorable than most experiences are the times you get dressed up, take awkward photos with your friends, and then head to the school gymnasium where it is decorated and feels like a different place than you are used to visiting for PE. The music typically sucks, and if you go with a date, expect to argue, but it really is a staple in my memory and one that would be a lot of fun to see you prepare for with your sisters or friends.

And if not, your sister Claire will reminisce with you so you can feel her pain of having  dad take too many pictures and mom boss her around with certain poses.


My wish is that you don’t see your birthmark as a mark of shame or embarrassment but one that you proclaim as “Look! It’s my skin!” when you see others with similar features like you did the other day seeing a 3yr old picture of Pearl. Hers disappeared at 4, but yours might be here to stay, so I wish that you own it and love it and remember you are unique in many ways-and so are others.

And if not, if it sometimes feels like a burden, know that it’s ok-but it also links you to me-and your sisters-both who were born with similar marks like yours.


My wish is that you continue to play pranks and love your laughter. I would be lost some days without it. The spider in my panty drawer last week had me for a moment. The spider in my bed made me gasp. Your love for joy and fun will keep us guessing as you grow, and keep you laughing through all the challenges life will bring.

And if not, we will prank you. All. the. time.


We are sorry things are the way they are for this birthday, Isla. Our family now has all experienced a full circle of birthdays in quarantine. It is definitely not what we planned or hoped for, but we are going to make the absolute best of it and enjoy the Grinch Groot Beer and Roast Beast.

Happy 4th birthday! We wish you a fun filled year and for things to get better so you can play alongside your friends again. Oh, and please never stop saying “Hanitizer.”


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