Tuesday, February 9, 2010



She's four today.

And for her, that meant waking up to a kitchen decorated in red and pink, balloons everywhere, and gifts ready for her to open in her very particular, Emma-like way.

It meant a special surprise visit by her aunt DeeDee who brought her her favorite two foods in the world . . . donuts and kolaches.

It meant a phone call from Mommy and Daddy on their way to work during which she rhapsodized over her favorite gift of the morning by singing, "I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my princess phone."

I know that it means something different to Brock, who has marveled several times today, "I can't believe she's four. Four!"

And for me? Well, it's my birthday, too. On this day four years ago, I became a mom, and it was as wondrous an event as I imagined it would be. I remember her first cry and the stunning realization that she was her own person but mine all the same. I remember how attentive Brock was, how he fawned over her and spent her first hours of life alone with her, and how, when I woke, he was as gone as a dad can get. Smitten if I ever saw it.

When we brought her home, when we were alone, when the last visitor had gone and it was just us two, I would whisper to her over and over, day after day, "God loves me this much." The idea that I was given such a precious thing - a life to care for and protect was not lost on me, and I have been grateful.

I don't know how I'll handle 5, 15, or 25. I imagine the surprise of parenthood will never leave me, that I'll always look at her and wonder how she can be the perfect combination of Brock and then her own little person all at once. I'll wonder how she can say the things she says and think the things she thinks and still be mine. I'll be reminded day after day that she is not me, and how that's pretty neat all in all.

What end is there of dreams about your children? How marvelous that the daydreams live on year after year. She'll ride a bike on her own, she'll play the piano, she'll cook her first meal (an event rapidly approaching), she'll want a diary, she'll have a boyfriend for five minutes before Brock kills him, she'll daydream in her room like I once did, she'll marry, she'll be a mom . . .

And through it all, she'll be the brown-eyed, long-haired little drama queen of our hearts who makes her own music and walks her own path, holding our hearts in her able little hands.