My daughter is turning five on Sunday and I have some thoughts about it . . .
My daughter is born. What do I do? How do I hold her? How do I take care of this little human being, this little person? She’s so small. So fragile. I’m afraid I’ll do it wrong. I’m afraid I won’t be able to measure up. I’m afraid. And then I look at her tiny fingers, her tiny toes, her tiny nose, and the thinking stops. There’s just her. Breathing. Sniffling. Smiling. Cooing. She’s everything. She’s mine.
My daughter is one year old. She’s walking, looking, touching everything. She’s curious. She’s beautiful in every single way. I’m getting used to this, spending every day with her from morning until night. Me and her. She’s so smart, so bright. I marvel at her every move. I tire by her every move. She’s everything. She’s mine.
My daughter is two years old. She stumbles and mumbles and fumbles around the room. She wants to climb on this and run to that. Her voice is high and soft and amusing. I play her some music. She dances. I read to her. She drifts off to sleep. I try to teach her things, things I think she’d like to know. She throws fits and frustrates me and amuses me all at the same time. She’s everything. She’s mine.
My daughter is three years old. She’s learning and growing so fast. I’m trying to keep up. She has a personality, a voice. She has likes and dislikes. She cries and she laughs. I drop her off at daycare, I pick her up. She doesn’t need me as much, but she needs me as much. She can do things on her own and I have to let her do them on her own. She’s everything. She’s mine.
My daughter is four years old. She loves dresses and gymnastics and purple and pink and painting her nails. She loves running through the tall grass looking for butterflies and curling up next to me while watching a movie. She loves when I make her popcorn on the stove, and singing songs in the car. She studies the world and I study it all over through her eyes. She’s everything. She’s mine.
My daughter is almost five. In two days, she will be. We’re turning her room into a “big girl” room. She can climb in and out of the car. She can buckle herself in her carseat. She can climb onto the counter and get her own snack. She can pick out her own clothes, and dress herself. She can do so many things. She doesn’t need me as much as she used to. But still, she needs me. I’m amazed at all she has accomplished this far in her young life, how much she has grown. She’s five? Maggie is five? No. It can’t be. It’s moving too fast. Time. Time is moving too fast. I tell her to stop growing and she laughs. “I can’t,” she says. “My body grows.” “I know,” I say. “I love watching you grow.” And I do. But I’m sad about it, too. At the same time, I feel like I’m losing a piece of her the older she gets. But that’s part of the bittersweetness that comes with having a child.
I’m so grateful I get to experience it all. She’s my daughter. And she’s five. She’s everything. She’s mine.