Last night before bed, Marty and I sat on the couch together and snuggled our five year old daughter. I held her tight, smelling the flowers and dirt in her hair, trying to memorize her voice, her giggles, her five year old sweetness and her little girl joy. I knew, right then and there, that it was the last time I would ever snuggle with my five-year-old daughter again.
This morning, a six year old climbed into my bed to snuggle me.
No, she hadn't changed overnight. They never quite do, but the changes happen so slowly and yet so fast, before you can even plan or realize it is happening, next thing you know your little baby girl that you brought home from the hospital is going off to college.
So last night, I tried to memorize my five year old. Engrave in my brain the sound of her voice when she calls me Mommy, because I know that is going to be gone soon. Someday, she will call me Mommy for the last time, and I won't even know to savor it as the last. So I will try to savor these, knowing she will grow up on me much faster than I want or plan or will even realize until it's too late.
As I write this, my darling girl has forty five minutes left of Kindergarten. I am sitting here, tears streaming down my face and wondering where all the time went. In a little less than an hour, I will go to the end of the driveway and pick up my six-year-old, newly turned first grader.
And in the blink of an eye, she'll be seven.
My darling Emma-girl,
I am so proud of you. You have blossomed into an amazing girl and although I want to keep you little forever, I also can't wait to see how you will develop as you get older. You are beautiful, you are so kind, you have a love of life that is a joy to everyone around you.
Emma, I delight in you.
I love how you love God, and tell your brothers about His love. I love how you care for those around you, how you always want to pray for whomever is in an ambulance going by. I appreciate how you care for your cat and how you show him love and protect him from the boys.
I had a wonderful time going roller-skating with you last night. I loved spending time with just you, and I loved how you just kept going. I was (and still am) delighted at your reaction to falling down and getting hurt, you just giggled and said, "falling is just part of learning how to roller skate!" and got up and kept going. I love that about you, and continuing to get up and try again is something that will make you very successful in whatever you choose to do in life.
As I held your hand around the rink for the couples skate last night, I realized that I was truly having a great time hanging out with you. You are fun to be with and I really, truly enjoyed our time together. I can't wait for the times you tell me your secrets and we get to hang out together, just the girls. We are outnumbered in our family, so we need to stick together, OK?
I love how your whole face lights up when you smile. I love when you dance. I love when you sing. You are amazing, beautiful, and I still am in awe that out of everyone on the planet, God chose me to be your mom. I thank Him every day for that.
I love you, sweet princess Emma. I don't think you will ever know how very much I love you, because until you have a little girl of your own, you just can't know a mother's love. And even then you just can't picture anyone else on earth loving another person as much as you love your child. It's just the way it goes.
Have a wonderful birthday, darling. I hope it is everything you imagine and more.
I love you, baby girl. Promise you will always be my little girl, even when you grow up, OK? ;)