I find myself in a land of cliches as my baby turns five today. I want to talk about how time flies and that if you blink you'll miss it. In all honesty it doesn't seem that long ago that I was pregnant with Mackenzie. That the Hubbs and I were still arguing over her name, that I was still sick despite my entrance into the second and then third trimester. The memory of her "birth day" is still so fresh in my mind, and yet so far away. It is as if I've blinked and we have landed here, at five.
Mac's fourth year was so full of wonder and discovery. She is so aware of the world, and so very logical about it. Nothing is missed by my Miss Mac, even when you try to lie or white lie, she will seek you out and cross examine you better than any attorney. We will never pull a fast one on her. This past year she learned her letters and her numbers. She became aware of words and books. She has fallen in love with drawing and storytelling. She loves music and card games. This was the year Mac decided she wanted long hair, the first time she demanded clothes without ruffles, and has on occasion put toys back at Target, so she could buy shoes or clothes. She discovered the magic of secrets at Christmas time. This year she went from my toddling baby to a fun loving, adventure seeking girl.
Still I look at her and see my baby. Her hands are still impossibly small, just grazing the tops of my palms when she sets her hand in mine. I can still pick her up, but just barely. Her little noodle arms still wrap tightly around my neck. She still needs to rub my ear when she falls asleep at night, and I can't deny her that need. I can't stop picking her up or snuggling her neck, because I know all too well that one day she will be too big to lift. To big to fit in that place in my lap that seems carved out just for her. On a recent night, as we laid in her bed, she asked me to sing to her, which is just cruel on all accounts since my voice is horrible. But I indulged her with a song I sang to her as a baby, a Lemonheads cover of Frank Mills, that for some reason I still remember from my freshman year in high school. It's always seemed like a sad song about a lost friend, and at the end she quietly said, "I don't want to grow up Mommy". And I cried a little because she gets what I already know, that this time with her, as this tiny little human, is fleeting. She will always be my baby and there are so many adventures on the horizon, but she will only be this small and this too-insightful-for-an-almost-five-year-old, just once. How does she know that?
Her smile can stop time and her laugh is infectious. She has a sense of humor rarely found in a child her age, and will laugh and repeat jokes if she knows they will make you laugh. Those are things you cannot teach, those are the things that come with you when you are born. I watch her and think, how did I get this lucky? But like with most things in life, right time, right place, right heart.
The best thing about Mac turning five, she understands numbers and values. For a full month she would tell me, "I love you a hundred and fifty four seven five", and I would say, "I love you a hundred and fifty four seven five times a billion". Then we would just giggle, and try to out number each other. We would come up with crazy combinations, but none could ever hold the value or express the right amount of love because this kind of love is unmeasurable.
This kind of love lives somewhere between here and infinity.
Happy Birthday Mac, Mommy loves you one hundred and fifty four seven five. And many more.