Five years, in child-terms, is a long time. Long enough for me to forget many of the details, but of course there is much I still remember.
I remember going for walks while pregnant, on a ridge above the shining blue lake. It was an unseasonably balmy February that year. Sometimes I would sit on the deck reading, my shirt pulled up to let the sun warm my belly, and the baby would jab my ribs in a most tender and celebratory way.
-2 weeks old
I remember what a wordless incredible joy it was, after nine months of waiting, to discover our beautiful girl, to hold her--her!--in my arms. I remember the relief that labor was over, the exhaustion from it. I remember how I sang to her (just me, Brett was too choked up): May all your days be gold, my child. I remember the palpable exhilaration and bliss of everyone in the room: our midwives, and our doula, and us of course.
One day old
But oddly enough, one of my clearest memories from the day she was born was eating a sandwich.
I'd had this plan: I would bake a chocolate cake. It would be my labor project. As it baked, it would fill the air with its irresistible aroma, and it would be the first thing I ate as I held her, a sweet celebration of her birth.
Well. I did bake a cake as I went into labor. But she was not born that night. Or the next. The chocolate cake languished as labor stretched on and on. And when she was born I was ravenous for something hearty and satisfying, something that the empty sweetness of cake could not provide. So instead, I ate half of a tempeh sandwich that Brett had made for lunch. It must have had a tomato on it, because I remember it being soggy. It was the first of many, many meals that I'd eat one-handed while nursing. But it was perfect.
And now she is five.
One year old
Two years old
Three years old
Four years old
Pretty much five years old
She sings her brother to sleep.
She wakes up cranky many mornings.
She feels deeply the beauties and injustices of the world.
She wants everything she does not have.
She is the keeper of trees and flowers.
She likes everything to be just so.
She is very frustrated when things are not just so.
She wears dresses most everyday.
She is my daughter, and I love her so.
Happy birthday, my darling C.