She is a living, breathing being that didn't exist 4 years ago. Sometime in 2010, she started growing in my belly, everything about her already written in her DNA and just waiting to be expressed. The color of her eyes. The little dimple above the right side of her lips when she grins. The bizarrely macho way she struts around, belying the femininity of the dresses I sometimes put her in. The deepness in her voice when she congratulates herself, "Yay, Grace!"
She talks about her Pappy the Firefighter that she never met in this life, of the mountains that for some reason remind of her Nonnie and Papa, or Gram who she loves to look at pictures with. She talks about babies in bellies, thanks to Auntie Amanda who has a little girl coming soon. She shyly talks about her new cousins Will and Mason and when she looks at their pictures (or any pictures really) she says, "Aw, so cute!" She speaks seriously about strangers and bad guys and the bears that scare her, and she carries around a spray bottle that contains a magical potion that scares the bad things away. She knows her numbers. She sings songs to herself. She can dress herself. She snuggles and laughs fiercely, with her whole being.
She still cries a lot, still is demanding, still occasionally likes to be fed like a baby. But the further we get away from July 1, 2011, the day she took her first breaths outside my body, the further she gets from being that little 7 pound 11.5 ounce football that needed everything from us.
It'll be okay. She'll be okay, we'll be okay. With any luck, the next three years will move at a pace comfortable for all. But I suspect on the eve of her 6th birthday, I'll be musing over the forever gone years and the too quickly approaching future.
No matter what: she will be loved. And I am proud to be her mother.
Happy Birthday, G. I hope you like your birthday cake!