Genoa turns SIX tomorrow and that means I'm fighting the urge to sob uncontrollably about The Time and How Fast It Has Gone. Wasn't it just last week I was live-blogging her birth while Dave ran out to Safeway to buy her a birthday cake that ended up on cakewrecks.com?
Tonight we made cupcakes for her class. With blue frosting. Because that's her favorite color. (This week.) When I tucked her in bed, I told her it was the last time I'd ever get to kiss my five-year old daughter. At first she thought I meant I'd never kiss her again, then when she figured it out, she laughed and begged me for more five-year-old kisses.
I couldn't help but wonder if I kiss her enough. Could I EVER?
Birthdays always make me morbid. Not only about the years themselves because there's nothing I can do about time. I've tried, trust me. But watching your children grow up is a constant war between hurry up and get older so you're not such a pain in the ass! and stop growing up RIGHT THIS MINUTE because this moment is perfect. The contrast is even more vivid when you only get to see them half the time. It's like picking up new children every other week. Only they're mine. And knowing that I sometimes feel like I don't recognize them is the worst kind of guilt.
When Genoa was a baby, it all came so naturally to me. I felt like an instant mother - just add boobs! But every year it seems to get harder for me. Sometimes I feel bitter that my best parenting years were the very years my children will never remember. But worse than that is how hard I'm TRYING. I've never tried harder. And I HATE that it's an effort for me. I hate feeling like my children are work. I want motherhood to roll off my tongue as easily as a golf joke.
Needless to say, it doesn't.
I'm starting to think it never will and maybe that's how I'll make peace with it.
What I can say is that I love my daughter. I adore everything about her. I love her smooth hair and her perfect skin and the way she always smells so good. I love the way she cocks her hip every time I try to take her picture and how whenever Kei$ha's Tik Tok comes on the radio, she'll stop whatever she's doing and bust out the Wii Just Dance moves for that song.
I love that she's the best reader in her class. I love that she LOVES reading.
I love that she has both terrified and inspired me from the moment I found out she was a girl.
I love that wanting to do right by her is the reason I now get to be who I am.
Genoa will never be easy, but she's worth the effort.
Happy sixth, Lady.