Note: This post originally appeared on my personal blog July 2014. I am sharing it three years later, this day my baby is turning 8. The ache is raw again today.
Once more it has happened, another year has gone by. And here it is: that ache that seems to be ever-present in my Mama-heart. An ache I am learning to live with, but that becomes almost palpable on these dates that mark the changing of a number. From four, or even four-and-a-half, to five.
And dear Dani, I think you feel it too. We are not together on this momentous day as you are off at Gran camp with your sister and your cousin, but last night on the phone when I asked you about your last day as a four-year-old, you cried because of that ache in your heart knowing something is past. Something you loved and treasured and aren’t quite ready to say goodbye to, is over.
You cried for the year that was over.
You cried for the knowledge that you were done with preschool, done with dear Miss Cindy and your carefree hours and your precious friends.
Your heart is tender dear girl.
Your heart is fierce.
Your heart is generous and loyal and kind.
And your heart knows the ache.
But here’s the thing I’m learning about this ache of ours: we can mourn over our loss but we can also rejoice at what is to come. So I do my best to take a few moments to be sad, to miss the little baby and toddler and preschooler you were. To look through a few pictures, and laugh at your antics in some home videos.
And then I say a prayer of thanks, step back from the nostalgia, and dream of what’s ahead. Knowing the ache will be there in the background, I have to choose to wonder with joy and amazement at what is next.
And this, your year of being 5, I’m pretty sure is going to be awesome.
So I won’t let the ache overwhelm my heart today if you promise to do the same.
Happy Birthday sweet girl.