birdie turns FIVE!!

1:11 PM

Well... it happened. My baby. My first... My little girl turned F-I-V-E. And oh how it broke my heart. They tell you, they all tell you it goes by too fast and the mostly likely reason for their determination to tell you is that no matter how vigilant you are, no matter how many baby books you fill and how many photos you take it will still feel like a nanosecond. Baby one minute and big girl the next. And it rips you open in a way that you can't even imagine or wrap your mind around. 
For so long you feel like you've been keeping your head down and tracking feedings, buying pacifiers, rolling up dirty diapers and putting them on the potty. You've sat in cold urgent care waiting rooms in the wee hours of the morning, you've washed car seat covers and read all the parenting books. You've researched and bought the best crib, then toddler bed and eventually a bunk bed. You've gone through "puffs" and pouches, goldfish and applesauce, mac and cheese and have finally landed in a place where you can cook one meal for the entire family. And as you sit around the table and chat about how many sides a rectangle has or the way water can exist in a myriad of different forms you stop for a minute and look at this person in front of you. Truly a person in every sense of the word - with a distinct personality, likes and dislikes, talents and secrets. And you freeze. You squint and you try to picture that chubby little baby who's thighs barely fit in the pink leggings with flowers on them. And you get a fragment - the echo of that giggle, the way those little tufts of hair felt between your fingers, the smell, those cheeks... oh those cheeks. And then you blink and it's gone and it feels like you're looking at a stranger. For every day you awake to find a new child in the bed of the one you tucked in for the night just hours ago. 
And do not for one moment think that I do not adore the young lady blossoming in front of her because I can't even begin to explain how incredible this past year has been. The way watching her wonder at the world blossom has filled me with so much joy and pride. The way getting more and more peeks into her heart has filled me with comfort and peace and the way discovering her daily newness has instilled in me so much gratitude. It's the most delightful ride I've ever been on and I cannot wait to see where five will take us! 
In a nutshell this is the dichotomous love of a parent - reveling in the present while constantly mourning the past. Perhaps this is the real reason we're always so tired - it's exhausting to live this way. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. It is the greatest gift I've ever been given. So thank you to our wonderful daughter for blessing us with five of the most incredible and magical years, we couldn't imagine life without you my darling!!!

* taken right before her 1st birthday in New Mexico *

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