So! Big girl!
You will remember this birthday, I think. I remember my eighth birthday – we were in Trinidad and it was Carnival. I borrowed a rainbow costume and won 3rd prize in the children’s costume contest with another little girl. Our outfits were not particularly spectacular but we were so thrilled to be on stage that we danced the wild rumpus and played to the crowd, winning them over with sheer showmanship/glee/desperation.
It’s amazing to see you grown so big and thoughtful, to watch you lost in a book, so utterly absorbed that you can’t hear me asking you questions or repeating instructions for the 33rd time. Unless, of course, I mention ‘doughnut’ in which case your ears prick up immediately, sugar being the medium of telekinesis.
You are still yet small, wanting to be held upon my knee, cuddled and soothed when you feel lost and lonely, yet you are also big, so clever and full of reasoning. I see the baby in you, and I also see the woman you will become. I see how I will lose you bit by bit, how you will grow away from me, as you should, and I hope very much that by the time that natural space comes I will have not made so many mistakes that you won’t want to come back and be close once you have a choice in the matter.
I love you, my sweet, my sour, my delight, my maddening, my charming, my chastening, my exasperating, my exhilarating, my life changing, life affirming, mirroring, illuminating, wonderful, beloved child.