On the Day before Your 5th Birthday
You woke me up at 4:45 this morning, pleading with me to turn on the television because you’re afraid of the dark. Of course I did because I don’t ever want you to be afraid of anything. You lay there in the semi-dark, squeezing your eyes together and trying to go back to sleep. It didn’t work, so we sat together watching Wonder Pets with the heavy feeling of tired washing over the both of us.
And as crumby is it is to be woken up at 4:45, it wasn’t all that bad.
It reminded me of when you were new.
That first month you’d sleep all day long, only waking to eat. I’d stay in my pajamas and sleep all day with you because you were irresistibly soft and sweet. But at night, we were up, so I had your Daddy install a dim light next to my spot on the bed so we could spend all night staring at each other. I didn’t even bother trying to get you to go to sleep because I loved those hours so much. I can hear the quiet of those early morning now: the fan whirring in the background, the occasional shuffle of your little legs, and sometimes you’d make little cooing noises. Eventually, I’d turn the light off, and turn on the television, and we’d watch CNN or Wonder Pets on mute because I was certain a newborn would love the Wonder Pets. Finally, with the first morning light coming through the bedroom window, you’d dose off, and I’d slip off for a decaf and a banana-nut muffin. I’d bring my breakfast to bed, and when i was finished I’d snuggle in beside you. We’d sleep until noon, and then we’d do it all again.
Those moments are as real and fresh with me today as they were nearly 5 years ago. I won’t ever forget them, and I distinctly remembering staring at you and wondering what in the world you’d be like at 5. I actually couldn’t imagine you at 5, but I wondered.
Now I know. You are beautiful. You are smart. You are the biggest helper there ever was. You are kind and compassionate. You are fun. You are the best big sister. You are always hungry for popcorn. You are imaginative. You are into all things girly and frilly. You are emotional. You are resilient. You are passionate. You are loud. You are filled with goodness. You are sweet and gentle. You are one of the best things that ever happened to us. You are my best friend.
Thank you for waking me up at 4:45 this morning. Wonder Pets is still a really cute show, and those same banana-nut muffins were even better this morning with you.