Sarah, you are my youngest child and my only daughter and I cannot believe you are now 5 years old. You were just a tiny little bundle in a fluffy pink outfit with bear ears on it being taken home from the hospital.
You and your brother are the loves of my life. I admire who you are and know that you are a person who will get what she wants in life. Your sheer stubborness and determination (translated: you don’t listen and you never give up even when I tell you that you can’t do something) will serve you well as an adult.
Here, on your fifth birthday, are some thoughts.
I am sorry you don’t yet have a baby book like your older brother. I made his when I was pregnant with you and waking up with crazy hormone-induced insomnia at 4 a.m. each day. You see, when a mommy only has one child and can’t sleep, she has lots of time. When she has two, it’s sometimes a victory just getting through the day. And the thought of creating a beautiful and memorable scrapbook, while lovely, is just a tad unrealistic. But don’t worry baby, I will have that book ready to go for your 21st birthday. Or maybe your 30th.
I can’t stop looking at baby pictures of your chubby gorgeousness. I will never again have a 4-year-old. Or a 3-year-old. Or a toddler or a baby. That is, until I’m a grandma. So, it’s up to you and your brother to give me lots of grandchildren to play with. And remember, I’m an older mother so I don’t have time for you to dilly dally into your thirties like I did. Time is of the essence. Chop chop.
You are a feisty, independent, wonderful girl. You have the attitude of a teenager and the face of an angel. I’m okay with you saying, “Mommy, I can’t believe I’m saying this, but your breath smells like garbage” as long as you also keep saying, “Mommy, I love you,” even if it’s followed by, “and I love you too Giraffey and you too pillow and you too doorknob.”
In the morning, when you come downstairs with your hair sticking up wildly, wearing your fuzzy pajamas and holding whichever stuffed animal is currently in favor, I am filled with joy and love. Though I must admit there are days when I am equally as happy when you finally go to sleep at night.
Your name means princess or woman of high rank. You may think princesses are too girly, but I do believe you live up to your name. Though I have to admit that isn’t why we named you Sarah. In fact, I just looked up the meaning for the first time a few minutes ago. Still, you are our princess and I believe you will live up to the high rank thing. Definitely!
I had no idea that the “cha cha cha” part of the happy birthday song would upset you so much. Your friends were singing and you were crying and we didn’t know why. Could it be that this third mini-birthday party was just too much for anyone to take? Were you wondering why a party for all your friends at Chuck E. Cheese wasn’t enough? Were you thinking, “Okay, so you had a huge party for me and then you brought ice cream to my preschool class and we sang happy birthday....again. So why do we have to do this whole after-school, cupcaking-decorating extravaganza with yet another rendition of happy birthday?” I think you’re right. It was overkill. I’m exhausted too.
So my little girl, go boldy into your fifth year and take on the world as you always have. I love you very much and remember, you will always be my baby, even when you’re 50.
Lauren Menis is a Dunwoody mother whose column appears in The Crier each month. You can reach Lauren atLauren.Menis@ gmail.com