To my miracle daughter, on her 5th birthday

March 28th, 2012

Peanut, on this night, five years ago, you were born. At 12:03 am. The previous evening, a soft and gentle spring evening, sun shining, birds singing, warm, I walked (waddled), heavy with pregnancy at 35 and a half weeks along, far too early to have a baby, but so far longer than they ever thought I could stay pregnant. My neighbor and dog park friend and I met on the walk. As Roosevelt and Zuzu bumped noses, my neighbor asked “Aren’t you in labor?” and I said “Not yet!” Famous last words. About 45 minutes later, it started.

As you were born – in a thunderstorm, I’m told – though I wasn’t paying attention – and they handed you to me and I said, over and over “I can’t believe I have a baby! I can’t believe I finally have a baby!”, you became the child that healed my grief, healed my loss and made me, finally, a mother.

In the quiet nursery, warm and heavy with that delicious baby smell, I nursed you. In a quiet alcove, in a rocker, your tiny red cheeks, your little fists balled up and tucked in next to me, I felt, for the first time in a long, long time, at peace.

You’ll never know how much I love you – until you have your own children and know that powerful love that a mother has for her child. I know I’m not always the best, most patient mama, but I love you, I love you, I love you more than time and life itself. I will love you forever, past the bounds of this earth, past the time of this life.

I want for you what every mother wants for her child – to keep you safe from harm, to send you off confident in to the world (let’s start with Kindergarten!) and that you will live your life happy, find love, have babies and live to a ripe old age where you will say you had a great life. It’s amazing to me that I carried you in my belly. I remember your tiny foot pushing up so far I could see it’s small shape outside my sweater. And here you are, independent, capable and yet still my baby girl.

You are five, a magical age, and I want to live five with you. Take me by the hand, draw me rainbows, let’s play in the rain, have picnics in the living room and make forts out of blankets. teach me again how to look at the world with wonder, let me leave the impatient work world behind on our weekends.

I hope you’ll let me show you how to create, how to dance, how to draw, how to stand strong and, as you have already done for me, how to love.

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