“No one else will ever know the strength of my love for you. After all, you’re the only one who knows the sound of my heart from the inside.” – Kristen Prob
This is so hard. Tears are already rolling down my cheeks and on to my keyboard as I write this and I am not a crier. The bond we have can never be replicated. We knew each other before we even met in a way no one else can understand. You knew my voice, my heart rhythms, my movements. I knew your sleep patterns, felt your rolling kicks and turns, your hiccups.
I’m sort of in denial that you are now five. Five sounds so very big to me. It’s not a toddler and most certainly, not a baby. But that doesn’t change the fact that you are and always will be MY baby.
Confession time, five years ago when it came time to leave the hospital with you I was terrified. I asked the nurses if I could stay an extra day or two, they all laughed and told me I will do just fine. But I was convinced that I’d do everything wrong, even the most basic tasks like diaper changes, carrying you, feedings, baths. So it’s still hard to believe that we’ve made it this far. All the things they tell you about it happening in the blink of an eye and how the days are long but the years are short – it’s all true.
You’ve grown a lot this past year, both physically and emotionally. You’re still sensitive and your feelings get hurt easily. But we’re working on verbalizing your thoughts and using our words to explain how we feel. It’s a tough thing to learn. Even I still struggle with it.
We butt heads…so much so that I can’t even begin to imagine what the teen years will bring. The decibels at which screams come out of your mouth is mind-blowing and sometimes I feel I might explode with frustration. But you are independent and know what you want. Lucky for me, you also love to snuggle and are quick to forgive after a disagreement. I’ll take that while I can. I hope we can always hug it out.
You have opinions and preferences but you still want help. You are shy until you warm up to someone, and then there is nothing shy about you! You become the life of the party, your sense of humor and kindness are your greatest qualities. You are seriously one funny kid. I don’t think I’ve met many people with better comedic timing, you constantly have me in stitches, from your witty comebacks and quick thinking.
It is never my intention to push you, but I will always advocate for you. I once was a shy kid as well, and I know good things can stem from that, but sitting on the sidelines isn’t always an option. You are capable of wonderful things. I will do my best to guide you and remember, I am learning along with you.
In the moments where I dwelled on my short-comings as a parent, you proved to me that it was my failings, that urge me to be better – to do better. You’ve taught me to parent with conviction. Most importantly though, being your mother has protected me from myself. In days of doubt, hours of stress and anxiety you have pulled me out the other side and shown me how to persevere.
I will be your greatest cheerleader, your teacher and your strongest protector. Because you have done that for me. Being your mother has been an honor and privilege and not a day goes by that I am not grateful for you. I am a better person today because of you and this journey that you have taken me on has been profoundly the best time of my life.
There are no words to express the depth of pride I have for the small person I have raised. You are strong, stronger than most and you are intuitive. I am so looking forward to witnessing the development of the young woman you will become. I know you will do tremendous things in your life. I know this because I know you – even before we met.
I love you and thank you. Love your mommy.