First this week, our youngest little scootyboots turned precisely one and a half (18 months). This means that instead of crying out from her crib at night, she yells, "Mama, mama, maaahm!" like Will Ferrell asking for meatloaf. Being 18 months means she can say a whole bunch of words, and she does, with great frequency and enthusiasm.
(Can I just interject here and say that hearing my babies say "peeze" and "tay-too" are about the most surefire way to make me stop what I'm doing and swoon over their cuteness.)
She loves trying to keep up with her sisters and demands she be treated as an equal. I am holding on to what's left of her baby-ness by having extra long cuddles in her rocking chair after her naps, just swaying while she slowly rouses.
After that milestone, our month-long countdown to January 30th crept closer, Abby's 6th birthday. Having a kid who can look so far into the future, building anticipation, is so sweet to see. We sat down together a few weeks ago, and wrote a list of what would make her birthday the best one EVER. I was so touched with her requests: family, friends, cake, breakfast with a candle in it, a message on her bathroom mirror written in soap, and a special bath. What enriching, simple and totally do-able desires!
She told me she was, "really impressed that you did everything I wanted." Her gratitude was real and that's the warmest kind. We measured her height on her doorframe, where she could see proof positive that she had grown since turning five. I read her birth story and felt her giggle at the part where I said she peed on me after being born. I asked her what she would like to pray for in her year as a six-year-old and she thought, then answered, "lots of love." Rich says that is such a girl answer, but I say that's my sensitive souled-girl, at work setting her priorities.
As her mama, I can hardly believe I am entrusted with caring for a six-year-old being. What a task! I am constantly studying her, taking notes, and learning from her that I am often left feeling ill-equipped to handle such a huge role. When I look back at things I wrote after she was born, it feels like so long ago. How can six years feel so far away, and also like it just happened? I hardly recognize that rookie of a mama, that young woman who had no idea what was coming. To look at Abby today, growing into herself, I am so full of wonder and humility at being asked to escort her along the way, the best I can.