Last night, as I stroked your hair and gazed down at your face while you started to sleep, I was struck by this amazing recollection: a sonogram. A jagged photo of a baby’s face. The very same profile that I look down at now.
I still remember pushing my baby past the neighborhood preschool, looking at the little girls holding hands, skipping, ponytails flapping behind them, and trying to imagine you at that age. And now – here you are. With your own ponytail. And your own friends to hold hands with.
Here you are. Six, today.
(Don’t make me say it out loud. I’m already crying.)
I have learned so much from you since the day you were born. I don’t imagine that’s something that will end any time soon.
You awe me with your kindness, your empathy, your sensitivity to everyone from your grandparents and your sister, to the earthworms in the garden. I love how you approach every day as if it were an adventure, and that there is no walk around the block, no trip to the store not worthy of your enthusiasm.
I love that you’re equal parts innocent and wise.
I love that you mess up the ends of knock-knock jokes. And that you still write your Ys backwards and pretend that you meant to do it that way. (You’re your mother’s daughter.)
I love that you are at home in New York City, and at home in a cow patch, a restaurant, or a small-town parade.
That any music presents an opportunity for leaping.
And that you don’t know how to love a person less than 100%.
Something tells me that this isn’t who you are at six. This is simply who you are.
Happy birthday Thalia. You are my joy.