~these are the days of sixth birthdays~
There’s something about that magical moment of your child being one age one day and waking up the next day a whole year older. Although in truth they’re really only one day older than the day before. But the ever-so-still moment of their birthday makes it feel so sudden. I hear moms lamenting about it all the time. All you mamas reading, you know you’ve said it every year. How is my baby fill-in-the-age? Where did the time go? Stop growing up, already!
Something happens when you become a parent that nobody can really warn you about because you don’t really believe them. That time somehow slips by without you noticing. You blink and then bam! You find yourself missing the baby smell, getting rid of baby toys, passing along extra diapers, and buying new shoes because all of a sudden the old ones don’t fit. Isn’t it crazy how you don’t see them growing? How it seems like they go from a 21 inch tiny baby up to your belly button overnight. It’s like aging. You don’t see the wrinkles or age spots or grey hair or dark circles happening. They are just suddenly there. Or maybe that’s just me?
Eden is our middle child. Smack in the middle. Two older siblings 17 months apart. And two younger siblings 18 months apart. I see her torn between wanting to be like the older siblings and still holding onto the younger years. And many times, she gets lost somewhere in the middle. Not old enough. But not young enough either.
She gets along with everyone in this crew. And she fights with everyone too (except Judah). She’s happy with any sibling to play with. But she’s more than happy to be on her own. Making up stories. Talking to herself. Running free without a care in the world.
She’s probably been my most difficult child to relate to. I think because I’m more structured and she’s such a free spirit that we don’t think the same way. She’s fiercely independent. Marches to her own beat. She has wild hair that always looks wild. Her clothing is often mismatched and on backward. Or inside out. Or both. And yes, even her underwear.
She’s the child we repeat everything to. When you think she’s not listening, she really is. She just doesn’t listen immediately because she wants you to do it for her. She’s still working on sitting for an entire meal. She’s constantly moving. She would perhaps be labeled by a teacher in school as “restless” or “busy.” She frustrates her older siblings when she doesn’t pick up
as quickly at all.
But she’s a quick learner. And she has the kindest soul. She always thinks of her siblings and is very agreeable when they ask her for something. If you tell her something might not work out as planned, she goes with the flow. Her hugs are huge and tight.
The one thing she needs, though, is constant reassurance that I still love her. That no matter what she does, she’s loved beyond measure. That there’s nothing she can do to make us not love her anymore. Maybe because she’s constantly being corrected. “Eden Mary!” is often heard in our house. Sometimes if she does something, even if minor like knocking over a drink, she gets so upset and asks me if I still love her. No matter how much I wrap her in my arms and tell her I’ll always love her, she still asks.
I’m not sure kids can really understand how much they’re loved. Fiercely, no-doubt-in-your-mind loved. No-mistake-too-big kind of love. I’ll Love You Forever kind of love. But that’s the way it’s supposed to be. We’re supposed to love our children like no one else. Unconditionally.
Loving Eden is easy. I don’t know how many more ways I can explain to her that I’ll always love her, even though she can push me to the edge sometimes.
But oh, how I want to be like her. Wild and crazy. Free-spirited. Not worried about what others think or say. Free in my skin. Confident in my strengths and okay with where I’m not. Just wanting to be reassured that I’m loved.
And so as I watch the wheels of time turn yet again with my middle child turning six tomorrow, I want the first event of her 6th year of life be the words from her mama that she is loved.
So tonight, I did something I never did with any of my kids. Living small and kissing her at midnight, in the first minute of her turning six. (even though it’s our first night of vacation and I am exhausted from the whirlwind of the getting ready and traveling and getting settled).
I said a prayer for her sixth year. That she would continue to live up to her name and be a delight to everyone she meets. That God would continue to help me be the best mama I can to her. I know that God loves her more than I can imagine because I know how much I love her. And so I prayed that I would live in a way that she knows she’s loved at all times. That year six would be the best year yet. It’s my way of letting her know she’s loved. Above all else.
What do “these days” look like for you. Simply comment with one…these are the days of…
**If you want to check out the rest of my #write31days series, you can find the link here.