Eight years ago this sweet being came into our life. She did not at all come in quietly but of course she has also, just like her sister and her brother, left an impressionable mark on my heart ever since.
I’ve written about Caleigh’s birth before. Every year on her birthday, I count my blessings for how healthy she is. This year, as I think about how grateful I am for having her for a daughter, I’m also in equal amount of shock that she is in fact eight years old. When did that happen? She’s halfway to her driver’s license.
As my kids get older, the things that used to worry me are replaced with new worries. Instead of watching as she stumbles while learning to navigate stairs, now I watch as she navigates the ups and downs of friendships at school. I used to wonder if she was safe in the playroom to play on her own and now I wonder if she’s safe as she walks down the road, out of sight, to the park on her own.
I love the person she is becoming. When she was first-born, I wondered if I would love being a mom as she grew older as much as I loved being a mom when she was a baby. That sounds so incredibly selfish, and I’m a bit embarrassed to admit it but I didn’t know if I would like it as much. And now that I’m here, I realize that I love it just as much, just in a different way. Instead of watching her as she reaches her different milestones (first smile, first step, first word), I’m now watching as she develops her own sense of self and passions in life. I have moments of pride and moments of heartbreak as she goes through different stages. And I most especially love how our relationship as mom and daughter as evolved.
I watch as she figures out her emotions. I watch as she rebels against her bedtime. I watch as she learns that alone time is sometimes just as important as together time. I watch as she learns about the repercussions of choosing play over homework. I watch as she reaches that age where she still is, and wants to be, a kid but at the same time, she wants to be more grown up. I listen to her as she shares her day at school with me. I cuddle with her in bed when she cries over the unjust in the life of a (now) eight year old girl. I laugh with her over jokes, funny stories, and memories from when she was younger.
Eight years from now it will be a totally different experience. High school. Boys. Part time jobs. Sports. Right now, I’ll enjoy Rainbow Loom marathons and playing Uno.
Happy, happy birthday Caleigh.