Today’s a big day in the White House! Isabelle turns 5. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I lay in the hospital waiting anxiously for her arrival. I spent 24 hours in labor before delivering her via C Section at 5:45 in the evening. She came out with a full head of black hair and left Colin and I wondering who her real parents were since we both expected a baby with a little blonde peach fuzz.
In five years she’s grown up so very much. Some days it feels like she’s been with my always and others make it feel like it was just yesterday that I held her in my arms and cried with frustration over why she wouldn’t sleep. We lived in a narrow row home in Baltimore City at the time and she was so small she slept in a moses basket propped up on a luggage rack next to my side of the bed. She was super fussy and I had fed and changed her and rocked her and done everything i knew how to do. So I tried the car seat trick andwhen that didn’t work I lugged the swing or veggimatic as we called it up the stairs. And when that didn’t work I broke down into tears myself and screamed at Colin to come help. I couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t remember what happened after that, so she must have gone back to sleep somehow.
Isabelle is so many wonderful things all wrapped into one and I am wide eyed and mystified at watching her grow up. She bowls me over daily with the things that she says and does. I can’t believe she’s mine and that she’s so smart and pretty and kind and funny. And then she sasses me and gives me more ‘tude than some teenagers can rouse and it becomes crystal clear that she is in fact, mine.
I wonder daily if I’m being a good parent and if I am going to screw her and her sister up somehow but so far so good.
Last night my sweet Isabelle, got her first 5th birthday present from my mother, Lolly. It was the American Girl doll that she had wanted so badly but had told me earlier that she would not ask for it for her birthday because she knew it was so expensive. She wanted to wait to ask Santa for it so that we wouldn’t have to spend the money on it.
Her initial reaction did not lead me to believe that she really liked it, but when we came home it was clear that she was in love. First she asked if Emily could sleep with her. Then she asked if Emily could come to school with her today. After lights out she called me up to discuss how Emily would wear her hair at school today and shortly thereafter she called down to inform me that today was also Emily’s 5th birthday and that we’d need to do something to celebrate.
She also scratched her original birthday wishlist and reordered it full of doll accessories like the bed, armoire, and some clothes. Like a good mother, I lied and told her that I didn’t know if I could get those things on such short notice since her birthday was the next day. Ever so quick with a way to solve such dilemma’s, Isabelle proposed that I go to the store while she was at school to get everything and that once I had gotten it, I could come to her school to give them to her.
When she wakes up we’ll have pink pancakes with sprinkles in them, and she’ll open her gifts. She’s opened her gifts and is thrilled. We sang happy birthday and she blew out her 5 candle. Tonight we’ll have a nice dinner and ice cream cake. Later we’ll have the grandparent family birthday dinner to celebrate both her and her sister’s birthdays and Isabelle will enjoy a friend party this Sunday.
When I was growing up birthdays were uber special. My mother went out of her way to make us feel special. She still does. Last year for my 34th birthday I went on a girls overnight trip and she had one of my good friends bring cupcakes to celebrate.
Now that I have girls of my own, I want to make them feel the same way mother made me feel. I still remember the year I got my ears pierced as a gift. I also got a clock radio that still sits next to my bed. I was 9 or 10 and she left a trail of presents from my room to hers and down the stairs. Each box contained another pair of earrings. And then there was the year when I was way into Holly Hobby and she bought a Holly Hobby Cake kit and we made it together.
Turning 5 is a milestone and one that I hope Isabelle remembers for a long time because after all, she can use one whole hand to show people how old she is and that’s just the coolest!