Evie, today is your fifth birthday. How can this be? Just a short time ago, we were bringing you home from the hospital. We had no idea what to expect from you. I’m sure you felt the same way.
Five years later, we know you very well. You must feel the same way.
Evie, sometimes I imagine your reading this blog when you get older. I hope you get a sense of what it’s like to know you, to love you, to be your mother. I hope it makes you laugh. I hope it makes you think. I hope you don’t decide to sue me for invasion of privacy.
On the first day of your fifth year, I can’t help but feel we’re entering a new era. I look at you and see absolutely no trace of the chubby baby you once were. And yet, at the same time, that’s all I see. I know that’s all I’ll ever see when I look at you, even when you’re many times older than you are now. This is something that used to frustrate me about my parents — they see me through a little-girl filter. But they can’t help it. I understand it now, as you will if you have children.
Anyway, as I was saying, the new era. You’ll be entering kindergarten this fall. We’ll be apart for larger and larger chunks of the day. You’ll be out in the world. You’ll meet new friends, learn new things and begin to discover who you are apart from being my little girl. Evie, this both thrills and terrifies me. Because although the world is wonderful, it is also terrible. It will be terrible to you. And I won’t be able to protect you. And there will come a time when I won’t be able to take the hurt away just by holding you. And then maybe there will come a time when you won’t even want me to hold you anymore. Terrifying.
But today, on the first day of your fifth year, you’re still my little girl, both in reality and in my imagination. I’m so grateful for these few short years I get with you where that is so. The older you get, the more I realize how short and precious this time is. Believe this, Evie: I rejoice in and treasure every single minute of it because of who you are. Your little self has completely filled my heart and my soul with so much happiness and joy. Being your mommy has clicked my life into place, and for that I am so grateful to you.
Happy Birthday, baby girl.