I gave you a bath this evening and when you got out, I wrapped you in a towel, and you let me hold you much like I held you that first night five years ago. You see, it has been five years since we met face to face. But I knew you much longer than that. At first you were just a fluttering... A promise that something, that someone was growing inside me. I felt dizzy and sick, but that didn't last long and soon my belly started to get bigger. I nicknamed you Shlomo.
I was scared of you at first. I didn't know much about children and even less about babies. And as my belly grew, so did my doubts. Not about you. I never doubted I wanted you! I doubted my ability to be a good mommy to you. I was scared I would mess you up! But I followed all the rules. I didn't eat lunchmeat. I avoided sushi. I didn't shovel my driveway when it snowed!
And at long last you came. Not how I had envisioned, of course. I had handed the nurse my birth plan and within a few hours it was thrown out the window, replaced with the reality that every time I moved your heart rate dropped. And when they couldn't get it back up they forced a smile and announced your birthday was happening right now as they wheeled me to an operating room. The room was deathly quiet save the noise of the machines and the low murmuring of the doctors. But within minutes you were born. And I cried. I cried because you were safe. I cried because you were the girl I always wanted.
I was a mommy.
It was easily one of the most profound moments of my life. Over the next few days I couldn't stop staring at you. Your little fingers. Your little toes. Your tiny little mouth and nose and ears. Everything about you was perfect! You stole my heart.
As predicted, it happened quickly. The last few years a blur of milestones, sicknesses, chaos, and victories!
But the overarching emotion is joy. Joy for being your mommy and getting the privilege to watch you grow.
And today you are five.
I think I am going to enjoy this age. You have a lot of energy and optimism. You are curious about everything and love to adventure. You swing between being fiercely independent and needing to hold my hand. You let me in on all your secrets and you still think the best of everyone you meet. In these moments, I like to think that I am getting a glimpse into the woman that you are going to become and I feel blessed to be your mom. You are so very dear to me!
I love you,