I couldn’t wait for Gabriella to wake up this morning. I wanted to take her picture first thing in the morning to capture exactly what she looked like on the morning of her second birthday.
Finally, at 8:30, I heard her sweet little voice. “Hi, mom.”
I jumped up, grabbed my camera and ran to her room.
“Goodmorning, Birthday Girl!”
That’s what she looked like the morning of the day that she turned two years old.
And that is what she looked like as she tried so very hard to sing “Happy Birthday” along with me. You see, I started singing Happy Birthday to her a couple of weeks ago, because I wanted her to be able to sing it with everyone at her birthday party. I had high hopes that she’d learn by the time her party rolls around, but after hearing her sing it this morning, I’d say there’s still work to do. However, I have to say, not bad, G-Unit. Not bad at all.
Has it really been a year since I wrote her Happy First Birthday post? I find that hard to believe.
There are moments with her where it feels as though time freezes and the earth stops spinning as I watch her do something incredibly sweet. Like the other day, when I was leaving to go to Starbucks and as I was walking to the car, I heard her scream “MOMMY! MOMMY!” I turned around and saw her standing there wearing nothing but a diaper and a purse hanging from the same arm I carry my purse on.
“You want to go with mommy?” I asked.
She nodded her head. “Yes!”
“Ok, you can come with mommy.”
She squeeled as I lifted her into the air and as I held her close to me, I started to cry.
There in my arms, I held this beautiful little girl who looks up to me, who wants nothing more than to be just like me, and to be with me. Time stood still as I held my daughter close to me and revelled in the beauty of that moment.
But then, there are moments where it feels as though it’s all happening to fast. I wish I could stop time or at least make it slow down just a little bit.
When I found out that the unexpected third baby that was growing inside of me was a little girl, I felt overcome with fear. Fear of the unknown. Fear of raising a daughter that wouldn’t hate me. I honestly believed that I could not mother a girl. I believved that with every fiber of my being.
I never would have imagined that I’d be the first one she’d call for in the morning, that I’d be the one she’d choose to be close to all day long, that I’d be the last one she’d want to kiss at night.
I never could have imagined that when I’d pick her up, she’d stroke my hair and say “Oh, mommy, I yuv you.” I never thought that she’d want to be like me, that she’d look up to me and mimic the little things I do.
You know, the girl is such a drama queen, with her tantrums and her screaming and her CLIMBING ON THE KITCHEN TABLE FIVE SECONDS AFTER I TELL HER NOT TO, but I can say in all honesty that my daughter is a beautiful, affectionate, loving, hilarious, polite little human being and whom I am extremely proud of.
Especially when she farts on command, because you’ve not lived until you’ve seen a precious little girl with pigtails grunt and turn purple from trying to push one out.
THAT’S MA’ GIRL.
I’ll never, for as long as I live, forget the very first moment I saw her. She had a head full of thick black hair, her face was scrunched up and she had the biggest mouth I had ever seen on a baby.
“She’s beautiful. When can I hold her? I want to hold her.”
It seemed like an eternity while the nurses checked her and got her ready for me. I couldn’t take it. I kept asking for my girl. “I want to hold her, please, give her to me.”
Finally, the moment they placed her in my arms, everything was right with the world. I instantly felt connected to her, I instantly loved her and didn’t understand how I had lived a day without her.
I still carry those feelings for her in my heart and soul two years later, only they are magnified a thousand times.
I love her. My God, I love her. And the greatest part about loving her? Is the way that she loves me right back.
Happy Birthday, Gabriella Mercedes.
(If this post seems scattered or incomplete, it’s because it IS. It’s hard to write meaningful posts with kids fighting, breaking things, crying, etc. I am tempted to delete and start over again tonight after everyone is sleeping, but for now, it stays.)