In the morning you will wake up and be five years old. I can hardly believe that you, my baby, are five!
Having already gone through this with your sister, I know that being five is very magical. You have words and thoughts about the world that amuse and astonish me every day. You see the beauty and kindness in everyone and everything. You are gentle and kind and loving and think the best of every person, child or adult, that you encounter.
This morning, you got into bed with me. Sleep was still in your eyes. You wrapped your arms around my neck; your legs around my hips and your eyelashes went right back to their place on the very tops of your cheeks. You were not ready to be awake. I watched you. Did you know that? I counted the tiny freckles on your nose. I watched your chest rise up and down and I felt your dimpled hands in my hair and on my cheek.
I prayed to God that the moment would never end.
My baby, born in a quick rainstorm. Born in silence. You didn’t cry when you were born. Have I ever told you that? You were wide-eyed and silent. Breathing. Perfect. Content. Wanting nothing more than to be in arms, safe. Loved.
I worried over you. Cried over you. Noted to all that would listen how much you looked like your brother. Wondered about you. Coddled you. Nursed you until my body couldn’t take one more minute. Slept near you because your sweet breath was what got me through the long nights for far too long.
Even now, five years later, I wish you could stay a baby forever. You will always be my baby, of course. That was decided for us and you fill the role.
I find it ironic that my baby has so many babies of her own. That, at five years old, she has decided that she will care for babies (“I’m going to be a baby doctor when I grow up or just a people doctor so I can take care off all the peoples in the families!”) and that she loves all babies, alive or plastic, equally.
I want to capture the moments of focus and seriousness when one of your babies needs you. Or when Ella is hurt. Or when I am sad. I wish I could bottle the goodness in your heart and spray a little on me every day like perfume because I know it would bless the world with love and kindness. I wish I was capable of loving who you love, without reserve or complaint or notice.
There is one more wish in my heart tonight, the night I remember best; the night you were working to be born. I wish you could stay my baby forever.
I know it is a wish that won’t come true. It can’t. All little children grow up, even when their parents wish for something different. I wish you could stay my baby forever.
Remember this: you were born in silence, in perfection and in the rain. You are part of a magic moment, if only in *my* heart. And I love you.
I love who you are. And I love that you are who you are despite, and because of, who I am. And everything we have done. And everything that has happened to us. And everything we will be. You are my baby whether you are five or twenty-five. You bring joy and love to everyone you meet. Especially to me.
Happy 5th birthday, sweetheart.