Monday, July 11, 2011

emily is turning 8!

This weekend, my daughter will turn 8. Eight? Can't be! (counting mentally, then again on my fingers, fully anticipating a different answer) Yup... EIGHT!!!!! 

10-day old Emily, posing unwittingly for her birth announcement picture

Since she was old enough to understand (the year she turned 2 if I'm not mistaken), we've had this little birthday tradition, a special Mommy-and-Emily thing, no Daddy or Douggy allowed: every year, before the presents and the cake and the party, on the morning of July 16th at exactly 7:16 am (her actual birth date and time), I sit on her bed, wake her up and we start reenacting the following:

Me: “Happy Birthday, Moomoo!”
Emily: “Humph!” Groggy smile, her dreams still in her eyes.
Me: “Do you know what you were doing exactly (insert birthday) years ago at exactly this time?”
Emily: “What?” Same question every year, even though by now she knows the answer practically verbatim.
Me: “Waaaaaaaaaaaah!” And then I tell her about how she was crying so loud that the nurses stopped attending to the rest of my c-section to give her the bottle right there and then, in the middle of the operating room, to shut her up.
Emily: “That’s because I was hungry.” Big smile now.
Me: “Yes, it had been 27 hours since either of us had anything to eat. And do you know what I was doing exactly at this time exactly (insert birthday) years ago?”
Emily: “What?” Big grin. She ducks, knows it’s about to get loud.
Me: “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! And I got my first gray hair that day. Oddly, you had one exactly in the same spot too“. Of course hers fell off promptly, while mine multiplied exponentially.

That’s when she hugs me with her little arms, tight, so gloriously tight. I cherish these rare occasions where she lets me coddle her, pitifully knowing that they're about to get rarer still. I stick my hands under her shirt and rub her bare back still warm from the night’s sleep, taking in all that warmth, the same way I have done since she was yea big (see pic above) to soothe her colic. This is one of her favorite things, the back rub that is, always was, though lately a promise of one is the only way I can get her to give me a hug. The only thing missing is her purring like the cat that she must have been in a previous life. At almost 8, she is all gangly limbs and muscles. Her cheeks are still bouncy when kissed, but the baby softness is all but gone. My arms have adjusted to her new shape and topography, yet fiercely retain the distinct memory of her chubby, soft, infant form.

This year Emily will be at her summer camp on the morning of her birthday. This will be the first time we will not be able to replay our little birthday routine. She is already old enough to sleep somewhere else, without us... And though I am very proud to see her grow up into a healthily independent little girl, a part of me is having a really hard time accepting that she's already making her own traditions, which do not necessarily include me. And also that I'm the only one who seems to mind...

Maybe I'll show her my scars later, when she comes home.


At 7/11/11, 11:56 AM , Blogger Janiece said...

Don't worry - the ties that bind will eventually bring you Emily-as-Friend, rather than Emily-as-Baby-Girl. And that eventuality makes the loss of the cuddlies a-okay.

At 7/12/11, 3:16 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

True, true, Janiece. But until then...

At 7/18/11, 10:14 AM , Blogger Janiece said...

Um, yes. Until then, once she hits the teens, you will be treated to head-spinning and pea-green soup vomiting! I just know YOU CAN'T WAIT.

At 7/18/11, 12:05 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

See, us Catholics have a clever little preemptive exorcism called first communion :)

At 4/24/12, 8:51 PM , Blogger Colleen said...

She is just soooooooooooo cute.
Yeah, we, mothers, will never forget each stage of our babies' infancy and toddling moments, until we will see their babies, will we?

At 4/25/12, 10:05 AM , Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, God willing... though the thought terrifies me more than brings me solace. Is it bad that I want to wrap her in a magic blanket that keeps her from growing up?


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