I went to sleep last night next to a four year-old and woke up next to a five-year old. However that happened, I have no idea.
(And I don’t mean the sleeping next to part. That happened because the universe bequeathed me with crappy sleepers.)
Every year, we’ve been down at the beach with family over Thalia’s birthday weekend, and so I’ve marked time seeing how big Thalia is each July 6 at the same dining room table. How she’s gone from plugging her ears at the loud booms in the sky to the self-invented “fireworks dance” designed to make them come sooner. How she’s gone from little girl I pushed down to the ice cream stand in a carriage, to little girl who picks out her own cone with rainbow sprinkles.
How she’s gone from strong rider of tricycles to wobbly rider of a big girl training bike. How she has become the girl who puts on her own swimsuit and buckles her own sandals.
How she races down the street to the neighbor’s house, no longer asking me to lead the way. How she races into the ocean, no longer asking me to take her hand.
How she has simply become a girl. A big girl
Today my little bean is five. It’s not fair that those first five years are behind us already. It’s magical that those first five years are behind us already.
This birthday however, I am thinking of more than how she has changed in the five years that she has graced us with the joy of her presence. I am thinking of how I have changed in the five years since I have been her mother. How I want to continue to change. I think I’m onto something.
Live the moments, mamas. Put down the crossword, look up from the laptop, turn off the cell phone. Come home early from work. Say yes to walks around the block for no reason. Enjoy the Saturday morning cartoons. Let them stay up for one more story. Rub their backs. Jump the waves.
This moment–any moment–only comes once.
My birthday gift to Thalia, beyond the Wiffle ball and bat, beyond the ice cream cake or the new party dress, is more of me, more of the time. She kisses me goodnight saying, You’re the best mom I ever had. I want to have earned that.
God, it goes fast.
Happy birthday my sweet, beautiful girl. You’re the best Thalia I ever had.