Thursday, June 7, 2012


Hey ladybug. You're officially four-and-a-half today.
I'm officially dry-eyed. Sometimes, I surprise myself.
Like I plan on doing for you, with cupcakes tonight topped with plastic animals.
Two of your favorite things on this planet.
Because baby girl, you deserve all the cupcakes and all the plastic squirrels and turtles.
Hell, life deserves sugary, sparkly cake products and resin menageries.

Each morning, you fight being woken up and become very, very hostile when the sunshine hits your face. Epic hostility, to be exact. Then I distract you with promises and mantras and annoying singing of poppy lyrics and you consider the day's outfit. You always say, I want to wear a beautiful dress, Mama. And I hope your choice is clean. Or semi-clean, anyways. Then you choose your BabyGap too-small 4T cardigan in black or gray (I will tell you this; you find a cardi you love, you buy at least two), some ankle bracelets, a Princess necklace, a plastic headband, and pocket a tube of lipgloss and don your beloved Flippies (sandals) and you're good to go. It's the same routine each morning.

When I pick you up each afternoon, you ask how my day was. How was your day, Mama? It floors me. You're four-and-a-half and one of the world's greatest friend, confidant, conspirator, healer, believer, problem solver, and perspective-giver.

Five years ago right now, you were busy growing and making my ankles swell up. You made me so freaking tired and insanely proud. I never wanted anything more in my life than to be right there, doing just that, and I hadn't even looked you in the eye yet. Pregnancy is a powerful thing and I cannot even fathom today how lucky I was to be there, then. I hope I didn't bemoan my hormone-related acne, stretch marks, or hideous heartburn too much. I hope nothing detracted from how amazingly perfect life was that summer.

Your Bestie's preparing for her baby sister this month. I gave her Mama all my maternity clothes, and I will see her across the street, watering flowers or yanking E.'s Barbie Jeep back into their yard wearing something I wore five years ago. I instantly stop, heart in my throat, hand to my abdomen and I'll remember 2007. All those stretchy capris and shorts that looked like real clothes. What I wore on the 4th of July party, at nearly 20 weeks when all your Aunties said, "Hey! You finally look pregnant!" The Gap and Old Navy shirts your Grandmas sent me in the mail with decaf tea and toenail polish and pregnancy magazines. The way-too-expensive-but-I-gave-up-beer-for-this jeans I had to have just to feel a little normal when shopping for fall clothes. Stories, yours and mine, all woven into each of those garments, the literal fabric of our lives.

Do we ever have a good story, huh, babe?

So, happy half birthday, even though your Daddy rolls his eyes at that.
Happy just six more months until you turn five, until my eyes are officially undry, until your already-chosen Ariel party with mac & cheese and turkey pepperoni and garlic cheesebread unfolds.

Mama loves.

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