Sometimes it feel impossible to describe my daughter. Her birth changed my life. Her life changes my life. To sit here and describe her soul seems unfair—there aren’t enough words. I don’t say this just as her mother, but as a flawed human who has watched a person take shape into more than I could ever have imagined. It doesn’t feel as if i had a hand in her growing. She seems so beyond me; full of integrity, tenderness, and empathy beyond her years and beyond my comprehension. Often, I forget that she is just five.
Her birthday was a mix of joy and sadness, for moments that are now gone and moments that I am sure are coming. I cried for questions I have yet to find the answers to, and dreams that I have yet to support her in. I cried for that day she laid on my chest and fed at just 6 pounds. I cried for the inexplicable love she brings Peter and me. I cried about everything, and she let me. That morning I held her tight, whispering in her ear a drawn-out explanation of how long she’s been alive.
Here’s what I have learned about five so far: it is beautiful and full of lessons. River sees the world differently now. There are more questions to follow up every answer. Her mind is opening to things I don’t feel quite ready to explore yet. She is flooded with wonder. Even though parts of me are surprised that we are here already, she forces me to scan back into my childhood and remember what it’s like. I feel beyond connected to the person she is, which can be scary but is also so beautiful.
I love you, River
(photo from her birthday party in January)