Every year, I write something beautiful and heartfelt and touching about how much love I have for my children and how much that love grows exponentially with every passing day. I talk about how I can not believe how fast the time passes and how just a moment ago they were nothing more than a gestating fetus, a helpless newborn, an adorable baby, a precocious toddler, a beautiful child. We all get weepy eyed when I wax poetic about how life has changed for the better, so much better, and how I couldn’t picture my life without them. I smile, thinking about the joy they’ve brought into my life, the pride and unconditional, unwavering, infinite love I have found, both for and from. I look back at the time since their last birthday and gaze in wonder at all they’ve learned and all they’ve accomplished in such a short amount of time.
I’m not going to do that this year. Instead, for Eirinn’s 6th birthday, her 5th since I started writing here, I choose to tell her these things. I tell her every single day how much I love her and how much I admire her intelligence and her humour and her talents, and I will tell her again today. But today I will also thank her for choosing me to be her mommy, even if she has no idea what that means. I will cradle her like she was a baby once again, even if she protests (although, it will only be half-hearted), and pet her hair and jokingly scold her for growing even though I clearly and specifically instructed her to stop doing so on her last birthday. I will give her enormous, squeezy, birthday hugs that are filled with happiness, but also a little bit of grief for the days that have gone by, wasted with too many arguments about tidying up Barbies or finishing dinner, and not nearly enough giggles.
I tucked three chocolate hearts into her lunch, one from each of us, even though they’re supposed to have healthy food at school. For dinner, we’re having her very favourite food in the whole wide world, homemade pizza, then a cake just big enough for the four of us. We’ll sing Happy Birthday and tease her about how many boyfriends she has, based on how many candles she fails to extinguish on her first try. She’ll open a few presents from AH and I, and Avery will open one, too, because she’s still too little to internalize her jealousy or remember that she has her own birthday just a few months from now. We’ll finish up the day with the second half of Happy Birthday, Big Bad Wolf, or whatever the story is called that we got part way through last night. Then, when I tuck her into bed, I’ll give her one last birthday hug and one last birthday kiss and whisper into her ear that I couldn’t possibly love her more than I do at this very moment, but if she would stop growing, that would be just fine.
Seriously, stop it or you’re grounded.