Today she is five. A whole hand old. My beautiful and sweet first-born. The first of January will forever be first and foremost Hope's birthday, secondly the New Year. And Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper will always be a little special to me, as they were the New Year's Eve show we watched that night before heading to the hospital those five years ago.
She is growing up. She is getting so big. Every day she becomes more and more her own person, her own self. I love it. And I am terrified. Not that I would ever want to decide who she is, but I worry so much for her hardships and difficulties. She is so much like her Mama, and while I think I've turned out pretty well, it hasn't been without a fair amount of struggles, and I just don't want her to have those struggles I had. But maybe they won't feel like struggles for her... I constantly remind myself that my issues are not her issues.
But oh, my daughter, she is a miracle. She is a Gift, a Joy, a Blessing. Her heart is so sweet, I see it when she kisses her sister and when she offers a toy to keep a friend from being upset. I see it when she snuggles up next to me, wrapping my arms around her. When she asks me to lay in bed next to her.
She is reserved, to be sure. She holds back with unfamiliar people, hiding behind my leg when she's uncomfortable, shushing me when she hears me talk about her. And on that playdate, as desperate as she is for that snack, she will not make the request herself if there's a chance I will do it for her.
But with her mommy and daddy and sister, she can be so boisterous and silly too. I wake in the morning to giggles from the sisters. She dances around the room with pants on her head. Her energy explodes while she yips and yells and chases imaginary monsters from room to room.
Today she is five and I am filled with Joy. With MotherLove. My heart it beats for her (and her sister). I am proud and teary-eyed and overwhelmed and in love. I smile when I think back to our trip to the hospital, those hours of anticipation before the reality of parenthood was placed on my chest. The fear and excitement of her arrival. The child I never could have imagined but is exactly what she was meant to be.
My dear, sweet Hopey Margaret is five-years-old today. And, I wish for her the joy of another New Year ahead.