We are eight days into the new year and she is eight days into being an eight-year-old. I'm not sure where the time has gone, and I can remember her birth day as if it were yesterday, and all the old clichés of time going to fast and children growing up.
About a month before her birthday I already started thinking of her as an eight-year-old and even had to correct myself a few times. Strange for me to rush her age considering I am usually holding back tears at the thought of them getting older, yet in this case when the day actually came, it felt right. Probably because I was already referring to her as eight in my mind.
Since having a New Year's Day baby eight years ago, the first day of the New Year does not feel as renewing and fresh and calling me to make resolutions and goals and to start my year with pep and zest. Although maybe I was never that way and now I'm just more aware of it. The New Year is fun, of course, but mostly I am thinking about my oldest and how it is HER day because that's what birthdays are.
This was the first year we let our girls (the older two anyway) stay up until midnight, and they did. And when the countdown to midnight came to an end instead of, "Happy New Year!" my husband lifted his glass and said, "Happy Birthday, Hope!" And my heart skipped a beat and I was mostly just happy that he thought to do something so special (and I didn't let myself focus on feeling sad that I hadn't thought of it too).
I am continually amazed at what a beautiful young soul this child of mine is. And I am continually scared that I am going to completely mess up raising her in some significant way. I will never have all the answers and I will never do everything single thing right, but I will promise to do the best that I can and to be there for her, however she needs.
On January 1st eight years ago, she came into this world with big, blue eyes that stayed open for hours. She came into this new place and immediately wanted to see it all. She has been that way ever since. At one day, at five weeks, at eight years. Her eyes are open and they are taking it in. She does not want to miss a moment of anything. And she won't.
Happy Birthday to my beautiful, intelligent, caring, sweet daughter! May this year be as silly and joy-filled and magical as you. I love you, Hopey!