It's my custom on our children's birthdays to tell them about the day they were born so tonight, as I lay at the end of her bed, wondering how we got from that day to this day so quickly, I told her about the miracle of the day she joined our family.
I started with the fact that I bought her car seat the day before I had her because I was a bit busy at the time with having 4 babies in 5 years. I let her know, on the evening of the 30th of November, I decorated the entire house for Christmas while I was in labor with her so that it would be done when I got back from the hospital. I cleaned house, fixed my hair, put on make-up at midnight, drove to Walmart and then back home. Then after sleeping for a few hours, woke up with the sun and walked the other kiddos down to a dear friend's house so she could take them to church while Casey and I finally made our way to the hospital. Annie showed up just after several friends filled our hospital room after attending church; her Grannie pulled into the parking lot after driving all the way from Ft. Lauderdale. Her birth became a party and she was "oohed and ahhed" over plenty by all the ladies who attended the special occasion.
I told her that in her first few hours, I thought she had green hair and figured they couldn't all be lookers. Then in the middle of the night, I woke up, stared at her little face and said out loud, "she's gorgeous!" Green hair or not, she stole my heart.
I may have left out the part about bringing her home and feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the little ones that called me mom. I felt blessed for sure but had no idea how I would keep them all alive. Casey and I vowed to sleep on opposite sides of the house forevermore because four was all we could handle.
For the next month, when I woke up every night to feed my baby girl, I carried her to a comfy seat right next to the Christmas tree. As Christmas music was playing, we bonded and she stared ever so intently at all the twinkling lights on our tree.
I remember all of this like it was yesterday. Yesterday, I felt like I would always have those same friends around to celebrate life's most generous moments and that my mom would always be "just" a four hour drive away. Yesterday, I thought I would always have a baby in the house and would be the little mother hen to my little chickadees indefinitely.
That was yesterday and today I have a teenager.
And no more babies.
As it turns out, babies turn into teenagers.