Happy Birthday

The one who made me a mommy is about to be 5 years old. 5! Just writing that brings tears to my eyes. Birthdays go deep, don’t they mamas? They are milestones of happy celebrations accompanied, for me at least, with a tinge of sadness. Yet another phase has come and gone, and life is marching on. My baby is growing up, and that makes my heart soar and ache a little bit at the same time.

My baby is now a little girl with ringlets in her hair, who looks adorable with pigtails, and who is incredibly particular about the exact location of them on her sweet little head. She is a little girl who chooses her own outfits and accessories, and comes eagerly and proudly to me for approval. So build her up I do. Everyday I tell her she is beautiful, strong, and kind. She’s beginning to look to me to learn how to look at herself. It’s a daunting and so very important of a responsibility.

My baby who I nurtured as a novice first time mom now nurtures her siblings. She helps bathe baby J, changes his clothes, and makes him laugh in a way that is different from anyone else. She is W’s keeper. She takes him to the bathroom, puts on his shoes, makes sure he washes his hands, gives him choices for snack, and wakes him up after his nap. Her love for her siblings is fierce. My baby is now the big sister. Her role is critical in keeping our family rotating on its axis. I depend on her.

In so many ways, though, I am reminded that she is still so little. Her feet still stick straight out in our kitchen chairs. My hearts pangs with tenderness as she nibbles at her snack, her head barely coming over the top of the table. Her (r) sound is still developing and that combined with her sprightly little voice is almost too much to take. We enjoy “bwek-fast” together each day and “weed” our books together afterwards. I will grieve the loss of these mispronunciations once they finally correct themselves. She still gets scared of the dark, and she leaves part of her curtains pulled back just so she can see the “twinkly lights in the street.” She always wants to hold my hand, loves her popsicle pajamas, and lives for treats.

As her world begins to come together, I do my best to keep up while still protecting her as much as I can. I answer her questions about God being hungry or if Santa lives forever while still clinging to the fact that there is so much about this great big world she does not yet need to know. I pray it will be good to her, and that others will be good to her too. I pray that she will be safe, content, peaceful, and happy. I watch her whole body work as she learns to put letters together to make sounds and sounds together to make words savoring this process of discovery knowing that I will never again watch her learn to read. It’s all happening so quickly, and I am so honored to stand by her side.

So today, I celebrate her, this baby who made me a mommy. For it was she who introduced me to the heart deepening love of parenthood and because of that I am forever changed. Happy Birthday. Happy 5th Birthday to our precious darling M.

Find your joy~

Jessica

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