Five years ago today, I sat in a room filled with boy clothes, all of which had cars, dinosaurs and said boy on them in some way. There were classic airplanes painted on the wall and your bedding had them as well. I was sitting on the floor (not smart, just as an FYI, is hard to get back up) folding little tiny blue clothes when I had this funny thought. I'd bet this baby is a girl. It was Saturday the 17th of July and you were due on Monday the 26th. I laughed at the thought of this, because two ultrasounds had said boy. You were going to be our Ian. Ian Nathaniel most likely, although the middle name was still a bit up in the air. The doctor had said, I am so sure, that if I were a betting man, I'd go to Vegas right now. I am 100% sure. Okay, good to know doc. Boy it is.
Never the less, that second of a thought, that you might be a girl, gave me pause for a few minutes. Then I brushed it away and continued folding little blue clothes.
On Sunday, your dad and sister and I went to an all day BBQ party at your Granny's house. We swam in the pool, we ate way too much and in general we had a great day. I think it was about 8:30pm when we finally went home. At 9:22pm, my water broke. I hadn't until that second had a single contraction and was in a bit of shock for a minute. Until the first contraction hit. And then the next one. Then another. One right on top of the other. Your dad picked up your sister, who he had just gotten into bed and basically threw her into the car. He literally told her to buckle her car seat herself as he helped me get into the car. He called our doctor and your granny in two minutes time, telling them both this is happening WAY to fast. We are on our way to the hospital now. Get there, now. Your daddy has a way with words.
The rest is a blur really. It's not something you want to hear about anyway. Lets just say, you were determined to be a Cancer, not a Leo. Had you been born the following day, you'd have been a Leo. That's my theory and I'm sticking to it. Also, because I will tell you this when you are my age and having children, you were the one kid that I had, without the joy that is the epidural. Trust me my lovely girl, this is not the way I wanted things to go. But it was too late. By the time we got upstairs and into a room, I was ready to push. This is the other thing I will tell you one day...you were the baby I had to push the longest with. Your sister was a good 16 minutes of pushing, your baby brother a good 30ish minutes of pushing. You? Over an hour. Way over an hour.
You were born at 11:47pm, July 18th, 2004. You were, as you know, a girl. The doctor goes, oh...oh hmmm, after you were born and I started to freak and then he goes, well it's a girl. A perfect little girl. I laughed and laughed that night. I found it to be the most amazing surprise. Also, as you know and love to tell everyone, you were flipping off the ultrasound tech those days. You don't know what it means yet, but you love telling people that.
Tomorrow my beautiful girl, you will be five years old. I am not sure how it happened really. I feel like it was just yesterday that you were this teeny newborn with no name. This tiny girl with a bedroom full of clothes that had to be taken back.
Now you are big. You tie your own shoes. You brush your own hair. You are even close to being able to wash it yourself. In the past two weeks you have learned to ride a bike without training wheels. You write your name on everything. While we are discussing this, stop it. We all know your name. I am tired of it being written on EVERY surface. Thank you.
You are brave, opinionated, stubborn and about the sweetest child I've ever met in my life. A lot of people tell me that you are my mini-me. In some ways, this is true. It's likely the stubborn, opinionated part of you though. Also, the knack for inserting humor into a conversation in the exact moment it is needed. You have a great sense of humor and an even better sense of timing. In a lot of ways though, you are nothing like me. See, you are brave. You try new things. You don't get scared very easily and you have almost none of the anxiety that I have. I hope you are always like this. I don't need you to be my mini-me. You can just be you, that is my greatest wish for you.
You adore your daddy, your siblings and pretty much everyone you meet. But, I am and always have been your favorite. You have a special love for me and me alone. I don't know that I could explain it to you if I tried. I hope it never goes away and then I'll never need to try and explain it to you. You love nothing more that to hold my hand, intertwining our fingers. You love to play with my hair, sit in my lap and generally be all up in my personal space. If you are outside playing, you will come back in every so often and tell me you love me and give me a hug, before going back outside. If I am laying on the couch, you will lay on top of me and say, mama there is a bug on you. Because we have always called you bug. If you are somewhere else for the day, when I come to get you, you always say to me, mama I missed you so much this day. When I lean down to pick you up, you always put your hands on either side of my face and ask, how was your day mama. That's the other thing. Except when you are pissed off at me, you ALWAYS call me mama. When you are mad, you call me mother. Which is very funny. Your sister started calling me mom at two years old. Mama was too babyish in her mind, but not yours. You are a mama's girl all the way.
Four has been an interesting year for you and I. Filled with attitude, tantrums and a bit more attitude. Did I mention the attitude? We've definitely had our moments where I wasn't sure you'd survive to see five years old. You have tested every limit and then tested them again, to make sure the limit hadn't been changed. But here we sit. Tomorrow you will be five.
Five means big things according to you. Kindergarten, which you are both thrilled for and scared of equally. The new found privilege of riding your bike up and down the street with your sister, instead of just four houses down and back. (Which really has more to do with the no training wheels thing, but I won't tell you that yet.) The ability to hold up your whole hand when people ask you how old you are. And the knowledge that you will learn to read very soon. Very important things dear heart.
Just remember that being little isn't so bad. Try to make five last for me, okay? I am not ready for you to be so big yet. I know there's not a darn thing I can do about it, except accept it. But? I am still hoping that you'll stay my little girl for a bit longer.
I adore you my girl. Happy fifth birthday.
Friday, July 17, 2009