“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be”- Maya Angelou
Seven. Wow! It may seem unbelievable, dearest wee bee of mine, but when you were making your way out of my belly and into the world, seven years ago to this exact morning, I didn’t picture Seven.
All I wanted was for you to be out in the world and in my arms, safe and sound.
I pictured a tiny wee babe, who needed me to support her head and hold her all the time. I pictured a bigger baby, belly laughing and babbling and making intense eye contact with everyone around her. I pictured a curious tiny being, putting everything into her mouth with food all over her face and in her hair (and all over me!).
But I didn’t really picture anything more than that. I think, as parents, or at least I know for me, as your Mama, I couldn’t.
Because if I had pictured anything past those sweet baby days I might have missed them in the blink of an eye, rushing ahead towards the “I don’t know how it could be better than babyhood but it is” stuff.
Now, as a brand new mama, I have to tell you, the thing that confused me the absolute most was when other (usually much older) mamas would say to me: “enjoy this time- it goes by so fast and you can’t get it back!”
I remember repeatedly thinking: wait- what happens when she gets older? DOES IT GO DOWNHILL FROM HERE?! (Seriously, I wondered this a lot given how many times people told me this!). In fact, I have probably even mentioned this before because it confused me so very much.
Spoiler alert: it gets so, so much better. Even though I didn’t think that that was possible. But turns out, it does.
You don’t know when you hold a baby in your arms how they will turn out. You hope. You even get some kind of an inkling. But you don’t know, yet.
I didn’t know for absolute certain that you would be full of love and joy and laughter and silliness and dancing and love (did I mention love?). I didn’t know you would be full of fire and brilliance and courage (*as I come back to finish this post after a tiny break during which you just yanked out your own tooth-number 5 to come out! Talk about being brave!). I didn’t know that you would have the biggest heart and the most empathy I have ever been privileged to witness in my life. I didn’t know how much YOU-ness could be packed into one tiny wee bee.
And yet…There You Are.
I’ve read that after seven years, our body is a completely new one. Our cells have completely regenerated and we are a brand new being. Apparently this isn’t actually true, but…it’s kind of an interesting idea to think through here, especially as we honour and celebrate your seventh birthday. Maybe it means that, if we want to, we can grow and change and get back to the person we are always meant to be.
What I know for certain, sweet girl, as I watch you grow into your seven year old self, is that as you have shown us all who you are, I have grown and changed and gotten back to who I was always meant to be. Because I have the brightest and best role model of just how to be myself in You, Zoe Elyse. Happy Birthday to my ambassador of “being yourself.” I love you more than anything in the whole, wide world.