Today is the eve of my baby’s 4th birthday; and I woke up with one intention.
To look at her and see her. Really see her.
To see the things I know I must miss when I’m busy hurrying them along or counting to 3 or buckling car seats. I tried all day to look her in the eyes and hold her extra tight and speak her love language.
She’s going to be 4. One year away from 5 which is halfway to being a decade old. I just found out I was pregnant, right?
Something is different about 4 than 3. At three, her cheeks were still plump and her voice still discovering itself. At 3 she loved pretending to be a little lady and now she is a little lady. She is long and her face is more itself and the least plump it has ever been. Her voice is an echo of mine and her father’s and everything she comes across. She is cautiously independent. She jokes and plays tricks with words. She tells us she wants time to be left alone sometimes with her books or her dolls. She asks me questions so much harder than “what’s that?” or “why?”. She dreams about the future and who she will be and how we as a family will be.
It’s funny, though, because at the same time she’s still so…not a baby, but just new. New to this world, to this experience, to this life.
She is new to it and everything is gloriously new to her.
I’m busy making her a birthday banner and setting up her little calendar with a week’s worth of birthday fun and I’m all tears and smiles, tears and smiles. This growing up thing, it’s wonderful, ya know. But it’s achey and weepy (in a good way, of course). It makes me care about time when before them I didn’t care. Now it’s so damn precious.
Here’s to seeing, really seeing, the wonder and joy as time passes. To really seeing them in every moment and stepping out of myself into their world. Because one day, far, far away this will be the eve of her 15th, 21st, 35th birthday and I’ll be achey and weepy but grateful to have seen, to have witnessed.