My daughter, whom I’ll call Bird here because she did not like what I was calling her before, but she approves of Bird, is turning seven today. Seven! I don’t know how this has happened. When I said this to her just yesterday, her reply was, “Mommy, time passes. Children grow up.” I know, kiddo. I’m the one who taught you that.
And yet it is still quite strange that the years of diapers, nursing, baby proofing, and dreamily rocking her to sleep are past and won’t return to my life until I have grandchildren. I was cleaning up her playroom the other day and realized that in seven more years she’ll be fourteen and all of these toys and gadgets will be obsolete for her. Instead of feeling happy that we might be able to turn that room back into a dining area, I just felt sad that we have so little time left before she is a teenager.
So fast. Too fast.
Here in this space, I can make her birthday all about me and my nostalgia over the not-so-distant past when she was a baby, and my anxiety about the not-so-distant future when she is a teen. When I’m with her, the day is all about her and her hopes for her party, her excitement over cake and balloons and friends and presents.
Once she was a chubby thing that was our everything and now she’s a whirlwind who’s still our everything. Before long, she’ll be a young lady out on her own and probably still our everything.
Happy birthday to Bird–my brilliant, funny, loving, kind, good-hearted girl. I believe this will be a good year for you! I can’t wait to watch you grow and turn eight. Actually, I can wait, but that’s not an option, so I will love watching you grow and turn eight, and nine, and ten, and eleven, and eighteen, and forty five, and sixty. I love you for everything you are and all that you will become. There is no one in this world that I believe in the way I believe in you. Always.