5 years ago, at this time, which is 10:32am, you came into this world.
It took more strength than I knew I had, those 30 unmedicated, no sleep hours, culminating with the wearing off of an epidural and 3 more hours of pushing. But 36 hours start to finish, and you were in my arms.
I thought that was our adventure, but it turns out our story was just beginning. There would be days and weeks and months of questions. We would sit, you and me, in cold doctors’ offices yearning to sleep, my breasts engorged, fear wracking my brain, your sweet smile giving me a relief from all the what nexts that came up after each appointment.
I tell you the funny things that happened before all the things that scared me about being a mom.
Like that I was sure I was peeing my pants as I awoke from a nighttime nap, and Daddy was laughing as he tried to convince me it was just my water breaking. We went for a walk and the neighbors were shocked to know I was pregnant- let alone in labor!
Some of the silliest parts of my life happened when you were in my belly…
And some of the scariest have happened since you were born.
Like the fact that you’re 5.
This isn’t the biggest deal, I suppose. But all I can think is that in 5 years you’ll be 10. Double digits. And that means in 13 years you will decide where to go to college, or start your adult life, and your bedroom, which we knew was your bedroom from the moment we walked into it, will only be occupied when you’re home. Maybe I’ll do your laundry for you… but you’ll certainly be sick of the pink and rainbows that decorate your walls and bed now.
It should seem like a lifetime away… but April 17, 2012 seems like yesterday. I feel like you were just a ball of squishy baby, curled up into all of my postpartum rolls, sweaty, but smiling. All the time. You were the happiest of babies.
And I want those 13 years to not be in the back of my mind… but they are. Which makes me just want to hold you- wrapping you up in my love, protecting you from all the things that have scared me since you were born.
…is almost upon us, and, once again, you will have a surgery that will hurt, but change your life for the better. And each time I talk about it with you, your maturity and understanding of the procedure and recovery astound me.
Just the other day you sat there, rubbing your legs, holding back tears- I don’t even know why they hurt to that degree because we hadn’t been doing much that day- and you said, with the deepest gray eyes looking up at me: Mom, I’m ready for that wheelchair, now.
We talked about how it will work, and looked, again, at the countdown until surgery day I have ticking away on my phone. You smiled and reminded me it’s all for the best, mom. And while you slowly turned back to the movie that was on, resuming massaging your legs, wincing as you tucked yourself into a ball, my heart sang and broke and exploded with pride and became as black as night.
All the emotions ran through me as I realized, you are 5.
You are SO 5.
On the night you were born
It was really the morning, and my whole life changed. I became a mom. Your mom. And you became my babe. My warrior. My advocate. My strength. My reason. My why.
You are everything that Millie needs in a big sister, and everything we need in an eldest daughter. In these 5 years you’ve taught us how to love wanting nothing in return, to enjoy each moment as it comes, to take pride in the things that ignite our passions, and to stop worrying about what’s coming next, just live with what you know, accept it, and be ok.
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On this very day, my love, I wish you all that is good in this world. All that is kind, and generous, and full of life. …and carrot cake. I wish you carrot cake (which I’m picking up for your today- don’t worry!).
Happy birthday, baby.