My heart is too full for words today. My baby girl is five. Most people would probably think I’m overthinking it, over-feeling it. Maybe I am.

But I’m an over-thinker. An over-feeler.

No matter how hard I try, how long I take, I struggle to describe the last five years adequately enough. I have literally poured blood, sweat and tears into my first-born daughter. I have questioned my own decisions, wondered at my own instincts, researched and prayed and tip-toed through each obstacle. Each life stage so far.

I’ve breastfed, co-slept when I was too tired to take her back to her crib, learned to love wearing my baby, made baby food, weaned, adjusted to having two under two, potty-trained, thrown the pacifier away, pushed the swing, hunted through the whole house for the well-loved blankie, waved to her as she went to preschool, held hands to cross the street, facilitated art projects, served more snacks and meals than I could calculate, cleaned messes, ignored more messes, helped memorize Bible verses, accepted homemade cards, disciplined, corrected, wiped tears, snuggled at bedtime, read and re-read favorite books, band-aided boo boos, picked out big girl bedding, talked about life things, bought gifts, videoed recitals, listened to friend problems, cried, danced, laughed, sang, grown.

Yes, I have grown.

I am a different woman than the young girl who held the sleepy baby with a smattering of reddish hair five years ago this very day. The one who second guessed every little detail about having a baby and raising a daughter. The one who couldn’t have predicted what five years later would look like (she could barely predict five hours later!) The one who kept shaking her head wondering if she would wake up from the dream of motherhood.

Today is my daughter’s birthday. Happy fifth birthday to her…

But happy fifth anniversary to the girl I was, the woman I am becoming, the woman I hope to be. Happy fifth birthday to the mom in me.

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