On Monday (now today!) my little girl turns four. There has been a flurry of excitement over the past few weeks as we got ready for her birthday party, with her counting down the sleeps to her big day. The party is over, candles all blown out and the cake cut, (parents have breathed a sigh of relief), and now we get to start the countdown again, only one more sleep to her birthday now!
And yet in all of this happiness I find my heart can’t help but to be a bit sore too. It seems that she really has grown and changed so much over the past few months, and somehow four is just so much older than three to my mind. She’s growing up so quickly now, she captivated me at her first speech and drama concert this past week, shone in her school concert, and continues to generally take my breath away with her soft kindness, passion for reading, music and painting, brilliant wit, and protective care of her brother.
That’s not to say it’s all roses though, she is fiercely independent and stubborn. And yet in this independence she still wants to curl up on my lap and give me tight hugs, she still whispers I love you at bedtime, and she still tiptoes through at night time if she wakes up and needs reassurance. She squeals with delight when there’s post, hugs her dogs when she’s upset, and does a happy dance if we’re having a braai and eat outside on the patio. She’s a happy girl and I’m so proud of the little person she’s growing to become (even though she still doesn’t like eating her carrots).
She has excitedly shown me how old she is on her fingers (3), and how old she will be tomorrow (4). But even then she’s telling me that on her next birthday she will be 5. Slow down my baby girl, let’s just take one birthday at a time! So, as I tuck her in tonight I savour this last moment of her being a three year old, I lay next to her a little longer and give her an extra cuddle before I leave, remembering how I felt this time four years ago, the night before I was to meet this precious child of mine. When next she wakes she will be four, and time would have gone too quickly for this mama’s tender heart.
Happy birthday Amy. I love you with all my heart, always and forever.