Today you are 5.
In the beginning there was only the sacred peace of new parents falling in love with their newborn baby. Undressing you to count toes, snuggling into the newness of your soft skin, absorbing the essence of our beautiful new baby girl. My first daughter, our perfect little girl.
6 hours later a dark cloud of fear entered the room and over time became a crashing storm of voices, tests, sonograms, and diagnosis.
I longed for those first hours when it was just our little island and the world hadn’t labeled us yet.
I wish that I had known then what I know today. I wish I had known because the tears I shed, the worry I borrowed, the time I gave away thinking of “what if” while holding your tiny body close to mine in the night should have been time spent just basking in the joy and beauty of you.
I have walked through stores over the past few weeks searching for a birthday card for you. One that would say all the things I need for you to hear and know but Hallmark doesn’t make a card for you. Cute puppy dogs and sweet poems just don’t capture what turning 5 today really means for you and me.
You see my sweet baby girl, for a very long time I didn’t think you would make it to 5. I never uttered those words until recently because I have begun to relax and enjoy your health being so stable. You and I haven’t spent any time on the 8th floor of hospital recently, the ED doesn’t know you and me at all, the lab still knows us but it takes them a moment to place us. We are in a pretty cool routine right now and I’d like it to stay that way.
I like 5 because you can make IIII marks and then one / through it all makes 5 and it feels like an accomplishment to make that slash, a set if you will. A set of years where I learned more about patience, love, long-suffering, kindness, fear, and goodness, than I had the previous 40ish years.
You brought an entire family with you on October 4, 2005. Emeline and Barbie, Carson and Kayla, MaryEllen and Diane, Sophie and Jen, Braska and RK, Judy, Louise, Robin, Barry, Mindy, Susan, LeVette, Jenny, Katie, Carla and a myriad more that I can’t name. Families and people that I consider essential to this life with you and just think how boring it would be without them.
You, precious girl, are the bravest person I know. You are brave not just because you have had repeated medical procedures that would break us mere mortals, but because you go at life with gusto, full speed, full of spirit, and most of the time, a giant smile on your face. And your full body hugs are pretty amazing. Through your bravery my little love, you taught me about Faith.
I thought I knew Faith but because of you and this twisted journey we are on, I now embrace Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” It took me a long while to realize that the lessons you bring strengthen my faith in God and give me peace during our difficult times.
I have so much to learn from you and the message that is being sent through you.
Since Hallmark didn’t have the “learning lessons and faith” section ~ I am writing a steady stream of consciousness which may or may not make a lot of sense but it is the only way I can pull the words out. These years have brought moments where it felt as if time was standing still and today I am thinking …… wow that was FAST.
Today you are 5 and I will read these words to you and I have Faith that somewhere deep inside you hear me. You know the words I speak, feel them deep in your soul so that you always feel protected, happy, safe, and above all else, love.
Happy 5th Birthday Larkin. You are a gift we are lucky enough to open every single day.