Today, you turn eight years old. To you, this is a very short way to those oh-so-coveted teenage and adult years. To me, this is a sudden reality check that you have been with me for eight entire years. You’re in second grade, and I still remember my own second grade experience like it was yesterday. That was the year I learned how to paper mache – something I should take the time to teach you, very soon. Much to my dismay, you still have several little boyfriends following you around, and you’ve recently started matching your clothes. Okay…maybe I wouldn’t call it matching, but you definitely dress with a purpose. You’re growing. And, I really don’t like it.
See, eight years ago, I was a very scared nineteen-year-old who was about to celebrate her one year anniversary. I liked concerts, 5am bedtimes, and 2pm wake-up times. I didn’t party, but your dad and I were both night owls and lived life a little backwards from other people. Then, I gave birth to you. Suddenly, I had this incredibly pure and helpless little being in my arms, and I had no idea what to do. So, I sang…the same song…over and over. I breastfed, formula fed, cried it out and rocked you to sleep, vaccinated then skipped vaccinations, slept with you, then slept without you, then slept with you again. We found our own rhythm, you and I…right up until you were diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and our whole world was sent spinning. After the diagnosis, we battled the world together. We conquered your scratching and biting inducing fear of water. We worked with occupational therapists and speech therapists several times a week. We visited doctor after doctor and specialist after specialist. To this day, we battle like this, hand in hand conquering one hurdle after another, repeatedly finding our rhythm among the chaos life throws at us.
After several years of conquering your sensory and speech issues, I got my first ‘real’ hug. You were three – almost four – and I cried. About this time, you started singing our song back to me instead of just listening and singing the same little line over and over. When you were four years old, you fell asleep with me for the first time since you were just a few weeks old, while watching a Braves game. Again, I cried. You started Kindergarten, started learning to read, and suddenly had an interest in boys. I remember the first time you drew something with depth – it was a sketch of you falling, and your feet and hands looked closer to the front because you drew them bigger and at the perfect angle. You learn things like that so quickly. On went first grade, and you played softball. Watching you learn go from barely holding the bat to knocking the ball across the infield and dance and scream your way to first base only to get tagged out because your celebration slowed you down was the highlight of my spring. You’re so full of life and excitement – you didn’t even care that you were out, because you hit the ball. Now, you’ve discovered lip gloss, shoes that coordinate, and how to shake your hips. I’m a tad fearful of what the next 12-16 or so years hold for me but, more importantly, I mourn the years that have passed too quickly.
You’re a shining little star, and everyone who meets you falls in love with you. You have a contagious laugh, and constantly make faces to get people to laugh – something I’m certain you’ll regret in a few very short years when you realize just how many of those faces I have on camera. You’ve had a few new hurdles over the past few months, and you’re working really hard at kicking those square in the face, just like you always have. You’re everything I could have imagined you to be, times a thousand, plus even more. I look forward to spending the next twelve years raising you, and look even more forward to developing a relationship that will last well into your adulthood.
Happy Birthday, Mommy’s Little Monster ♥
Happy Birthday, ArtistChild ♥