Dear six-year old Natalie,
Now that all of your friends have gone home and the party is officially over, I can take time to wish you a very happy birthday. Today you are six years old. It seems like just yesterday that I held you for the first time. Your arrival marked my very first Mother’s Day. It was surreal. Meeting you changed me forever. It was about this time at night that you were born. Shortly after 9 p.m. on May 10th, 2008. The next morning, I held you while someone brought me my first Mother’s Day breakfast. I don’t remember the food that was on that hospital tray, but I do remember the little laminated card that came alongside it that said “Thank A Mom Today.” I still have the card. I don’t think I’ll ever throw it away. Then I had no idea what being a mom really meant. I’m still learning six years later…
I’ve struggled with what I was going to write for your birthday this year. Partly I think, because I’ve been a tad bit sad that you’re getting so big. I’ve watched you grow from a little baby that I could carry in one arm, to a small girl that doesn’t need to be carried at all. You have changed so much throughout the years, and it scares me a little to watch your chubby baby cheeks thin into a little girl’s face.
Today you woke me up at 5 a.m. by jumping into my bed to tell me that it was time for your party. You were so excited, and so was I. The night before, while you slept, I made you a cake and decorated the dining room with streamers and balloons. It was a special surprise for you. One that I knew you’d love. One of the things I adore about you is your enthusiasm and desire to make all things special. When I ask you what you want for lunch, you always say a picnic. You think eating your lunch at the table is fine, but a picnic is special, and therefore more fun. You’re always looking for ways to make things more fun. I hope you never lose that. One year when you were younger, perhaps 3 or so, you decided that you needed special Christmas plates for your toy kitchen. You couldn’t imagine serving up a delicious meal of plastic food without festive plates for the holiday season. You love ALL holidays because you know it means decorating and celebrating – two of the things you are so good at. Every occasion is a special occasion for you. I love that. I’m glad that you are always looking to celebrate things, no matter how mundane.
When your friends arrived, you happily ran around with them and spent almost the entire 4 hours laughing. It made me so happy, even if I was a little overwhelmed by 12 kids running around the yard. I’m glad that at 6 years old you have lots of little girlfriends to giggle with, and celebrate with. After the cake and presents, your friends went home and you looked so very tired. I could tell that all you wanted to do was curl up in your bed. When I kissed you goodnight you said “Thanks for the streamers mom.”
Thank you, Natalie! Thank you for noticing that I tried my best to make your day special – even if it was with balloons and streamers from the dollar store. Thank you for being the best daughter a mom could hope to have. You were the best Mother’s Day gift I’ve ever received.
Happy birthday to our leader of the pack. Our number one girl. The sensitive and loving, heart on her sleeve, sassypants Nattie B. We love you always, and forever!
p.s. A picture of you on your special day.