There isn’t a parent in the world who hasn’t reached this milestone and exclaimed, “Five year old, hardly seems possible!”
And even knowing this I find myself watching Sean putting the training wheels on the birthday bike and marveling, “Five years, it doesn’t seem possible.”
Truth be told I’ve been saying it since she woke up, “Briar! Tomorrow you’ll be five years old. Five. Years. Old.” At first she looked at me with excitement, but as the day wore on the look become a gently withering sort of, “C’mon, mom, it’s been coming all year. Are you really surprised? I expected more of you?”
I can say that it is one of those perfect examples of time’s treachery and mockery. Here today, gone tomorrow, and yet, yesterday is still so perfectly here. The smell of newborn skin, the burn in my lung and legs on that first family walk to the park, the ache of learning to nurse, the first day back at work.
I had no idea how much I would love being a mom and as I enter this new phase of being a mom to a student, I realize I am as unprepared as ever. The thing is, I didn’t know you could shine brighter. I didn’t know that you could sparkle brighter than when you took your first step. The triumph of your first bite delivered by your own hand with a big girl spoon. Your first play date. First big girl bed. First you were right and I was wrong.
But there you are, radiant as the day I first laid eyes on you. You are breathless with excitement, torn between sharing and replaying the events for yourself. I am hungry to take as much as you’ll give me for as long as you’re willing. You are, even with the addition of two sisters, my baby.
I wanted you more than I have ever wanted anything. I wished for you, worked for you, and wept when I thought you weren’t coming. And then you were real. On the way. I pored over all the books I could find, weighed every decision, imagined every possibility, and counted the minutes until I’d hold you in my arms.
I know that tomorrow as we celebrate your fifth, we are entering a new era. I will do my best to be what you want and who you want in the way that you want. I can’t promise I’ll be perfect, but I can promise that I will try my best and love you in the wide, open way that you have taught me.
Mrs. Kowalski talked about how you found more sparkles than any student she had ever known. Not surprising when you consider that your are, in the purest sense, a sparkle yourself.
I adore you, sweet Briar Davie.