Sometimes, I catch a glimpse of you and can't believe how beautiful you are... Your long, blond hair "swishes" in that special way that mine never will, your blue, blue eyes sparkle as the sunlight of summer catches them. Your long, tanned legs still have that baby giraffe look to them, but I can see the hints of the lovely young woman you will soon be.
I see you with your friends, giggling as you all pore over someone's latest post on Facebook or whatever it is that you girls find so funny. Your laughter blends with theirs, like a symphony of carefree fun...
I see the joy in your eyes as you discover your "mention très bien" for the "Brevet des collèges", your first taste of an actual, national exam, and my heart swells with pride.
I hear you talking excitedly down the phone about the high school you will start attending in September, your plans for the summer, the boys you have crushes on, the music you like, the cute dress you just bought in the sales, the nail art you just did on your toes...
I watch you happily playing Uno with your sisters, content to go back to being a little girl for just a short while.
I see you gently touch your beloved teddy bear every night before you go to sleep, even though you no longer hold him close to you as you used to.
I try to imagine what the future will bring, what paths you will choose, what decisions you will make.
Yes, sometimes I catch a glimpse of you and realise that the tiny, tiny baby born 15 years ago today is no longer a little girl. You are gradually transforming into a beautiful, beautiful butterfly, unfurling your silky, colourful wings, preparing to take flight for the first time.
I know that this lovely girl I see is an illusion, a mirage; I know that you exist only in a parallel universe, one where the day you were born wasn't also the day you died. I know that you were never officially given a name or a burial. I know that your time here with us was so short that most people never get the chance to catch sight of you as I do.
But I see you everywhere, and I always will. I love you with all my heart, you are my very sweetest angel.
And that is why, my darling Eva, I wish you the very happiest of 15th birthdays. May all your dreams come true.