it's hitting me really hard lately.
i am the mommy of an (almost) five year old.
and i don't know why that title feels so seemingly miraculous or noteworthy or even the slightest bit heartwrenching. but it does.
looking back - the first birthday felt extraordinary. so much more anniversary-like. the whole one-year-ago-today-i-held-you-for-the-first-time emotion tumbling forward and outward.
her second birthday ... felt a bit more rushed ... but more her's. i was less a part of it. it sped by. so quickly. i wanted more than it gave.
third birthday ... definitely belonged to her. so significantly less about mommy at that point. she was a total and complete separate person. exploring on her own. becoming her.
fourth birthday ... i begged for it not to happen. it felt too old for my baby. i wanted three back. but it came ... and went. and she was still my baby.
and now? this fifth birthday is sending my heart reeling back to my memories of holding this little tiny being and feeling so overtly unprepared for what life was going to become.
because all of the preparation i had in waiting for you gave me ... no idea i could love this much. and without abandon. and wholly.
and five is all about growing up and school and meeting new friends that are separate from your family.
it's about trusting someone new with my child. allowing this new member of team-stella introduce my baby to ideas and concepts and learning. without the ability to interview him or her first to make sure that s/he's cut out for the team. it's about breathing when you realize that your baby will be going into that bathroom by herself ... and on a school bus ... and possibly eating lunch ... and you can't be there.
it's about watching my first born make decisions about what to wear and realizing that i should never try to control or harness that creativity. because if she thinks that pink and green match the pink and green polka dots on her tights ... because ... hello? ... they are pink and green ... that it is totally fine. it might become all the rage.
five is all about the realization that 2 + 3 + 5 is 10. and so is 3 + 2 + 5. and even 5 + 3 + 2 equals 10. really it does! and did you know that mom upside down is wow. and pink is spelled p . i . n . k . and the word top can be like at the top of something ... and it's a toy that spins around! isn't the world amazing, mama? it's all intertwined and stuff.
the world gets so fucking big all of a sudden ... when you have a gonna-be-five-year-old. china is all the way on the other side of the world! did you know that the sun is going to come up over there? right now?? so many people go to washington dc to see the president! where is daddy tonight? what time is it there? how far away is daddy? and how can we talk to him on the phone? how does it work??
and yet. right now ...
she's still four.
she still cries when someone hurts her feelings. she pouts when she doesn't get her way. she gets time-outs when she needs to learn that she did something ... not right. she still wants to be carried when she's tired. she saunters up and closes in when she needs hugs and lovin'. she glows when you talk about how wonderful she is. she starts to make horses have triangle shaped ears ... only because you mentioned it one time - and she wants to be right.
so, darlin? when you see mama's tears rolling down her cheek as we near this birthday ... don't worry. they are a good mix of happy and sad. mommy is pretty much ok. she just misses her baby a little bit. but she really really loves this big girl too.
so ... stay tuned if you like a good birth story. because of this girl and this girl and this girl and a friend that let me put my hand on her tummy to feel her new little one moving saturday night ... i'm feeling a little more like getting the story of stella's birth out there.
but maybe on saturday ... when the girly-girls go down early and i can invest in a couple of glasses of wine. and more tears. because i so know that the tears will flow with that one.