I say the same thing every year.
I can’t believe she is ONE already!
How in the world is my baby girl turning TWO?!
THREE years old today, how did this happen??!!
And for each year that my daughter celebrates a birthday the sappiness MULTIPLIES and pools up in a resevoir just waiting to be poured out of my eyes in weepy tears while clutching my chest and looking through baby pictures. My baby girl! Waaaaahhhhh!!!!
And so here I am saying and doing the same thing this year.
My precious Evangeline Meghan is going to be FOUR this week!
Pride and love and fierce devotion for the prettiest little girl I have ever seen in my whole life fill my heart.
She keeps getting older on me. She keeps getting smarter. She keeps getting taller. She keeps getting funnier. She keeps getting more inquisitive and more competent and more insightful.
And I just seem to be getting sappier.
In some ways I also seem to be becoming more of an observer in her life.
I don’t brush her teeth for her anymore, I watch her do it herself, carefully (and dare I say, Type A-ish?) brushing away each Sugar Bug. I don’t pull a onesie over her tiny head anymore, I watch her dress herself before heading off to preschool. I don’t put on her diaper anymore, I watch her run around the house in Disney Princess underpants.
Thankfully for my sentimental mama heart, I get to become active in new and exciting ways.
While I don’t make exaggerated mommy expressions anymore trying to extract a tiny newborn smile, I do giggle with her uncontrollably on her bed as if we were two teenage girls.
I don’t just read her bible stories anymore as she sits there passively, I get to answer her questions like “Does God live in my belly?”.
I don’t just sing her songs at bedtime as she lays peacefully in my arms, she teaches me new songs from school and we sing them together.
One day, I won’t need to pour her milk for her anymore. I won’t need to pick her up from school. I won’t need to keep brother from sitting on her or stealing her blankie. I won’t need to spray her with a bit of mommy’s perfume while she watches me get ready.
I will simply continue to grow as an observer as she learns to cook for herself and get her own breakfast, as she solves her own problems and blankie is nothing more than a small, worn piece of fabric up on the shelf, as she learns to drive and pick out her own perfume and…heaven help me…DATE BOYS.
And oh, I am so happy in this. I love to watch her. I love to watch her laugh. I love to watch her create new games and invite others to participate in them. I love to watch her give her teacher a hug after school. I love to watch her eating cereal in Winnie the Pooh jammies. I love to watch her getting better at ‘insiding out’ clothes. I love to watch her grow. I love to watch her do. I love to watch her learn. I love to watch her. I love her.
And in all mommy honesty, I don’t miss the diapers and I am happy there is one less thing at bedtime routine that I have to do.
This role of observer really isn’t too bad.
But as this role in Evangeline’s life increases with every step towards independence and every inch grown taller and every year a little more mature, I hope that my active role, the place where I am still needed as a mommy, also increases in all the ways that come with a girl growing from 4 to 5 to 10 to 16 to 21.
I hope that we can continue to read together. Dr. Suess and then Charlotte’s Web and then Anne of Green Gables and then Pride and Prejudice.
I hope that she continues to ask me questions about God, and then Spanish verb tenses and boys and friends and perfumes.
I hope that we continue to laugh like middle school girls, even when she is well in to her high school years.
I hope as blankie becomes smaller and more worn and less needed I can provide other items to bring her joy and comfort. Like her favorite meal, a listening ear, a simple prayer, and, someday, a plane ticket to come home for a visit (thanks mom. see you next week!).
Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!