I spent last night remembering. It probably looked like I was busy as a bee, flitting about broiling chicken and whipping up spicy peanut sauce or dashing off to the store with Daddy to pick up your birthday surprise, but in my head was a running clock. Right now, I bet we were at the Orton's house watching the game, I'd think. Contractions were starting. We picked out crepe paper and balloons for your party. I-15, squeezing Daddy's hand and holding my breath. We snuck your present into the garage at Nana's house and loaded sleepy kids into the car to drive home. Monitors on. IV in. Knees and ankles rocking side to side to manage the hurt.
After you fell asleep, Daddy and I snuck into your room with balloons and streamers so you'd wake up to a party, and then I crawled into bed and cried.
I guess I've run out of ways to tell you that you are growing up too fast, that it can't possibly have been three entire years since you slid into the world, that I miss your littleness already. I'll just wait patiently (it won't be long) until you've outgrown your Dora jammies and your habit of saying goodbye with a hug, a kiss, an Eskimo, and a high five. I'll wait until you have a baby of your own and your heart splits and knits together a thousand times a day. I'll see it in your pretty blue eyes; you will finally understand.
So, on your birthday, I'll spare you a wordy post about how last night I cried over the sleepers you've long since outgrown and the funny little words you used to stumble over that roll effortlessly off your lips these days.
Instead, I'll just say this: you are the most wonderful girl. You are smart and kind and funny and lovely and you fill my world with sunshine. Even though I miss you small, I cannot wait to see the beautiful woman you are becoming.
Sometimes, when we're all wrestling on the floor together in a pile of arms and legs and laughter, someone will yell, "FAMILY SANDWICH!" It's your favorite thing, and you immediately burst into laughter and clap your hands until we all pile on in a stack.
Mama and Daddy are the bread. Mister Baggins is our sweet, sticky little jelly boy. And you, pretty princess, you are our peanut butter. You are the soft, warm glue holding all of us together, with just enough salt to keep things interesting.
Plus, your hair is the exact color of Skippy.
I love you, baby. To the moon and back. Happy birthday!
|Birthday treat with Aunt Mim|