(Oh dear. It's another birthday post.)
Lena, baby, how did you get to be five already? Honest to God I remember standing over you, tiny and perfect, still slightly jaundiced but with gorgeous kissy lips and that thick mop of dark brown hair, asleep in your Moses basket: the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen in my life. I don't remember it like it was yesterday, I remember it like I just walked out of that room two seconds ago and sat down to write this with unwashed hair and spit-up on my shirt. And as I was standing there, transfixed, smitten, I was also bawling my eyes out because you were already FIVE. DAYS. OLD. And I knew that if you could turn five days old so crazy fast that before I had a chance to think it through you would suddenly be five YEARS old and oh my good gracious Heavenly Father I was RIGHT. Also, I was majorly hormonal. But I was right! Who gave the approval for you to turn five???
You are five and you read and you like math and can count to at least twenty-nine in three languages. You love to do your homework, you keep asking Daddy to "teach you science," and you correct my pronunciation when I say common Japanese words. Yeah. Japanese. Two weeks ago you learned to swing all by yourself, and last week you mastered the monkey bars. (You are so proud!) When I ask you if you would like to go to the store with me you say, "Well, Mom, I think I would prefer to go to the park. Why don't you check your schedule?" And then you have a good laugh, because you know full well what you just did there.
Every day you blow our minds. I've never seen a kid your age love to draw and create with such unrelenting passion and ability. In fact, every thing I've seen you try your hand at, you've done extremely well. Sports, music, academics, or art - your biggest problem in life will probably be choosing which few things to pursue. Right now, you say you want to do everything. You want to learn everything. You want to BE everything. And kid, I am all for that.
I just don't understand why it has to happen so fast??
You are such an amazing kid, Lena. You're the kind of kid that all of the people at your new school already know because you just beam light and happiness everywhere you go. Sure, you're very emotional around us, and we have a tough time sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time. I may or may not have had to check with my therapist to make sure I'm not ruining you completely. But we are learning so much from you, too, and one of the things you teach me over and over is how to project joy out into the world. It is your most natural talent, one that you possessed even as an infant. One that makes me wonder every day, "Where did she come from?" Because I am absolutely sure that you are magic.
I love you, baby.
I love you forever and ever.
(Try not to grow up quite so fast? Please?)
(Thanks to Jimmy for the photo of Lena blowing out her candles. I swear he takes all the best shots.)