She's five years old.
I laid beside her on the bed I painted peacock green, and she smiled and babbled on and on about silly things that made only a tiny bit of sense.
I could see her one-year-old cheeks hiding under her long wisps of hair. I could hear her three-year-old voice mingled in some very big girl words. Somewhere in her hand gestures and the slanty way she wagged her head, I could see her fifteen-year-old, twenty-two-year-old, and every-other-year-old ways coming more clearly into focus. We have so much to look forward to, she and I. Life and time have strung the days and weeks and years into a strand of pearly memories and moments and I love her so much I want to hold her forever.
But she has to go to Kindergarten today.
She has a fancy braid and a little navy blue school uniform and I bought her knee socks to wear with her black mary janes. She taught herself to read this summer and last week she used her fingers to add 3 and 2 because it suddenly occurred to her that math is awesome.
I am a little sad, and I am a little thrilled, and I can't stop thinking that this motherhood thing is a miracle. Your baby asks to have a bedtime chat and it's like a note in a bottle washes up on the shore of your soul and the wisdom of true Love is uncorked once again.
How does it do that? How does love live in peanut butter sandwiches and frogs found at the creek? How does eternity touch you through silver brace-face smiles and football games? How do the tides that come in when they are babies change you into more than you knew you could be, and then the tides that go out as little ones become big ones feel like celebrations of all things great and glorious?
There could never be enough photographs, videos, crayon drawings, tattered blankies, YMCA trophies, homemade mother's day cards, school science projects gone awry, blazing birthday candles, or songs about love to hold all the joy that comes with being a mom to four rapscallion children.
Three big brothers will walk my Lady Baby into the school. I plan to document it and Instagram it and cry just a few buckets of tears on my way to the gym afterward. God and I may need to have a little talk, so I can babble on about silly things that probably only make a little bit of sense.
I'm ten and a half years into this motherhood thing, and it keeps getting better. Long live the love, hold tight the days, and let the tide roll over everything else.
Being a mom is the jam. Today is going to be a great day.