We had a birthday here last weekend.
Weekend birthdays are a little something special, aren’t they? A birthday that falls on a weekday can feel a bit like a struggle. Pushing against the normalcy and routine that most weekdays require and trying to squeeze out the celebration and specialness that make a birthday shine. It doesn’t always work. But a birthday that falls on a beautiful, early Fall Saturday? Well that’s just a gift all on its own. A gift complete with a room full of ballerinas singing Happy Birthday at the end of class, a chocolate chip pancake lunch with a good friend, and running around your house with a dozen of your closest friends.
A complete surprise to all of us who have listened to Let It Go with her hundreds of times, she wanted a mermaids and pirates party. So last week we transformed our home into a mermaid cove and pirate hideaway.
Of the dozen four, five, and six year olds, only one had ever pinned a tail on a donkey before. Times have changed, haven’t they? They caught on quick, though. With the spinning and the blindfold and the counting, really what’s not to love?
She ran and played and laughed and celebrated and for two hours, I barely saw her. A blur of a five-year-old dashing past me surrounded by a crowd of kids.
And that’s it in a nutshell, isn’t it? That’s 5 for ya. A blur and a crowd of kids. There is no denying it now. She is big kid. Such a big kid. You know we can’t shop in the baby and toddler section in Target anymore? I almost cried in the aisle when that realization hit. No more ‘T’ after the number. She is big now. And she’s still growing.
And it pulls me in opposite directions. Joy at watching her grow and grow so well. So happy and smart. So filled with a love of life and every day discovering the new things that her body, mind, and heart can do. And sadness. Wistfulness and longing for that day five years ago when she rested on my chest for the very first time. How I feel it in my heart, how long her legs are and how it feels like the last of the babyfat has melted away.
This is five. And it is sad and beautiful, just as all things have been with my sweet baby girl.