You turn six in twenty minutes. I have only twenty minutes to somehow describe this entire past year with you, watching you grow, watching you read, write, add and subtract. Letting you go a little more everyday, as you lunge forward into life, and a little father from needing me.
I know I say it every year, but I'll keep repeating it as I am always reminded of you as a baby with every passing birthday anniversary. It's hard to see the baby in your face anymore, but you never really were a baby anyway. It's like you were never meant to be an infant, and you protested it in the only way you could, by screaming your lungs out for a year, maybe longer. I no longer truly remember the misery of your infancy, only that it happened, but it's been long replaced by the joys you bring me now.
I still can see the world-weary soul I know lives deep within when I look into your eyes. They turn down slightly at the corners, giving your features a saddened look, as if you have lived a hundred lives before. There is a tiny scar at the corner of your eye, barely recognizable to someone who doesn't stare at your face, but it's there, and it accentuates the slope of your outer eye, even impersonating a tear at times if the light catches it just so.
You don't see me do this often, but I stare at you constantly, you look as though you are always deep in thought, worlds away. Sometimes my heart aches for you, because of the burden it looks like you carry. But then you catch me and smile, with your toothy grin and all the sadness disappears and I see only pure love and joy in you.
You don't tell me much. I miss you all day and when you come home I want nothing more than a complete play-by-play of what you did at school, who you played with, what bothered you, everything. But you keep me at bay. Once we talked for an hour about everything. You spoke with such passion and gifpddiness about your day, it made me realize you actually really love school. I had assumed maybe you didn't, I was fooled by your eyes again. I wish we had these conversations everyday, but I know I can't push you hear, you get to decide what you want to tell me. But please, tell me everything. I want to absorb all of your experiences, all of your happiness, excitement, your dear and sadness. I want it all in me too. I want to share your joy, I want to shoulder your burden. But that's yours to share.
Six is different. You're in first grade. There is no disguising you growing up, your independence, how your brain is absorbing so much more in a day than mine can in a month. Little things still make you so happy. You have no idea how much it means to me when you say "this is the best day ever"
I know you say it often, I don't care. It fills me with joy knowing you feel that way, even if only for a minute. I also revel in the fact that you often call me the best momma ever, of course you have no idea what you're talking about, my love, I'm not even close. You deserve better than I could ever be, but I love you so much I will spend my life trying to be better everyday for you.
You are such a caring sister. You melted into that role as easily with your new sister as you did at 18 months old with your first sister. Once again, it just seemed as though you were destined to be the oldest, the caretaker. You weren't meant to be taken care of yourself. I know your sisters will always look up to you, and you will be far too eager to reach them what you know.
I spy on you. Sorry, but I won't ever stop. I catch you reading to your sisters, covering them with blankets, laughing with them as you talk in your made up languages. Nothing makes me happier than hearing my daughters laugh together. That's the best gift I could ever receive.
Everything you do impresses me, every tine you hug me, I am filled with warmth. You are, plain and smile, a really wonderful kid. And I am so grateful, and so incredibly proud to be your mom.