Updated: Jan 21, 2021
Five years ago today, a tiny, squishy little girl entered the world and made me a mom. I felt like an oddly calm, comfortable deer in headlights. Such an unexpected mix of pure love and confusion I think most new parents must feel. But she was mine, and I was hers. I was all she had known for 9 months, and she would continue to need me for many more months, and years.
She still very much needs me—sometimes more than I’d like, but in a way someday I will surely miss. She embodies all the “S” adjectives: she is sweet, smiley, spirited, super smart, silly, spunky, shy, sensitive, stubborn and strong-willed. She has both my best and worst qualities, so she knows exactly how to test my limited patience and bring out my limitless love. Children have such a way of making us feel special and enough because we are special and we are enough, even when we don’t feel we deserve their limitless love. We do our questionable best and soldier on because that’s part of the gig—and hopefully, we all smile more than we cry. In spite of it all, you blink and they’re 5; then you’re blinking back tears wondering if you wasted or wished away too much of it. Five is such a “big” age to reflect on. That's 5 years—half a decade—of being a mother, too: Was I too rigid? Did I say “no” too much? Was I too busy to play? Too afraid to make messes? Too many times, yes. So many more times to come, also probably yes. You know, Type A parent problems. But when I say yes (to messes, to play, to treats, to extra TV, to more story time, etc.), I'm all in. There is such pure joy and excitement and fun (for us both) when I forget the rules and forgive myself for all the no’s. I want more of that over the next 5 years. More yesses and more messes. More magic. More of her—for me, and more of me—for her. Happy birthday to my big, little girl!