Tuesday, January 24, 2012


It is the eve of my girl's 5th birthday. I don't know how we ended up here. The Be Good Tanyas have a song called "It's Not Happening," and that one line keeps repeating itself in my head. Over and over and over and over again. I'm writing this post today because I am not entirely sure I'll be able to write it tomorrow. There's a part of me that anticipates needing a sedative and a bottle of Pinot Noir when the clock strikes midnight. I know that's not true because her excitement tomorrow will be intoxicating. I know that I'll put a candle on her banana bread in the morning, and we'll celebrate my girl all day, but I might need that bottle when 8pm comes and she's in bed and I realize that her fifth birthday actually happened whether I wanted it to or not. That's the thing about birthdays. They happen whether you want them to or not.

My almost five year old girl. What can I say about her?

I suppose I could start with: she's absolutely perfect even though she absolutely isn't. That's the thing about motherhood. You know how awful your kids are but think they're perfect anyway. I might want to strangle her a thousand times a day, but when I look at her, my heart is so full of love that it aches. When I watched her faceplant over and over last night at gymnastics, I just thought, "I love her. She's just perfect." I was able to think that she's perfect despite the fact that she is a spastic mess on a tumbling mat. And a balance beam. And uneven bars.

In reality, this girl of mine is wonderful. She is sensitive. She's got an absolutely huge heart. While I treasure this about her, I simultaneously want to help her grow a thicker skin because she's going to need one.

She's funny in a way that almost-five-year-olds are.

She's beautiful. Her naked eyelashes could be used in mascara ads, and when those dark eyelashes frame those big, blue eyes, I can look at her and know that those eyes will break hearts.

She is stubborn. We've finally convinced her that she may not marry her brother when they grow up. It's taken nine months, but she's finally realized that we may not be joking about the legality of it. She holds fast, however, to the assertion that even when she does get married, she's going to live here. When asked where her children will stay, she roundly informs us that she won't be having any. (I've heard that one before, Baby Girl, and I wouldn't be writing this post if I hadn't changed my tune.)

She is smart, and though I think she's positively brilliant, I don't have any expectation or desire for her to actually be brilliant. I want her to be smart, of course, but I want her to be happy first and foremost. I don't want her to be as hard on herself as her father and I are on ourselves.

She is a girl. A girly girl. I feared that God would give me a girly girl when I was pregnant with her, and that's just what He did. I can't really relate to that part of her, and that's fine. She, however, cannot comprehend why I don't want to play with dolls 24/7. When I told her that I've never liked playing with dolls (even as a child), I might as well have told her that we live on the moon. It didn't compute for her. It won't be the last time that we don't understand each other, and that's fine, too.

It's been an adventure these past five years, and I wouldn't trade a second of it because even the bad seconds are necessary. However, her brother and I made a deal yesterday whereby he will never do this to me. He's going to stay a baby forever.

Happy almost Birthday to my darling, perfectly imperfect angel/demon girl.

1 comment:

Strongmama said...

Hooray for 5!! Here's the kicker, you get over the shock of 5 and then right there after it, is the bigger shock of 6. 5 somehow still feels close enough to baby, but 6, my goodness, don't even ask me how I feel about 6. It's crazy old. Enjoy tomorrow!