Today my firstborn turns five.
I don't really remember the details of the actual day that well as I unexpectedly had my water break almost 6 weeks earlier than my due date and she became our Thanksgiving surprise instead of our Christmas present. It was all kind of a blur.
But I do remember with astute clarity the moment I first saw her.
The moment I first held her.
The moment we lay on the hospital bed, skin to skin, and made eye contact.
The first whiff of her sweet newborn baby smell.
Those first few months I felt like I vacillated between flying with euphoric bliss (the first smiles and laughs) and drowning with guilt ridden anxiety (am i holding her enough? am i holding her too much? oh my gosh it has been too long since she has eaten. oh my gosh she just ate 30 minutes ago.)
We slowly found our way...
and today she turns five.
She has changed me so much these five years. Motherhood has changed me. I learned (and am still learning) to die to my selfishness, my desires, and to my insane illusions that I had any control over anything much less another little person. I learned that all my preconceived notions regarding good motherhood were just that: preconceived notions. I learned to trust my instincts and to go to the word of God for wisdom.
I've learned that she is an amazing little thing:
Oh so independent but loyal at the same time.
Loves food with a little heat to it. Spice not temperature, that is.
Creative, unique, and dances to the music she hears in her own head.
Can (and does) colors all day long.
Don't rush her into anything.
But don't be afraid to push her a little.
Has a surprisingly strong competitive streak.
And is astonishingly good at manipulating.
It is also worth noting that I also learned in these past five years that there is no such thing as caffeine toxicity. And that bodily fluids really aren't that big a deal. And showering every other day is actually better for your hair. And that peanut butter is really really good.
I'm not sure why I got the blessing and privilege of being her mommy. I'm not sure I'll ever know that.
All I know is that I am forever thankful for the difference she has made in my life.
Happy Birthday my sweet Ella McKay.