Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Once upon a time, a long time ago (well, six years), a baby was born. She was a sweet baby, a good baby, she was one of those mythical trouble free babies you hear women talk about and you wonder why they want to be murdered by stressed out, sleepless, borderline crazy mothers.

Her name was Maren. 
Then, in an astonishing twist of fate, I looked at her one day and she was a toddler. She was whip smart and capable of just about anything. She was always happy and always ready for an adventure. She also had a head full of the most amazing, perfect curls you ever did see. She was breathtaking.

She started school, and if she hadn't, we'd have all gone crazy because she was so incredibly busy and she learned faster than I could teach. Someone who spent a lot of time with her told me that they thought I was crazy for starting my kids in school so young, but Maren totally needed it.
She was good at school. She made friends easily and she sponged up all the knowledge that she could manage. She got so big and so amazing that sometimes I would just stare at her and wonder where in the world she came from. She is so much kinder than her dad or I have ever dreamed of being, so much more generous and affectionate. I am constantly proud of her, not just what she's accomplished, but who she is, naturally, without even trying.

You know how some kids develop personality and one day they are just a kid, like any other kid and the next they are an individual person? Maren wasn't like that. She was always all personality. She is as girly as they come - princesses and baby dolls, pink and glitter. She is as tomboy as they come - covered in grease and mud and never too scared give something new a try. She loves cars and trains and things that go. She loves cooking and crafting and making things just right. She loves glitter and bling and butterflies.

She is a whirling dervish. Never stopping, never even really slowing down. She hits the bed and 90 miles an hour and by three a.m., she's been up, to the bathroom, given the dog a pep talk and climbed in my bed. Then up at six (at the latest) and it all starts again, a roaring, frantic, excited mess of happiness and love and kisses and hugs and art and running and jumping and swimming and playing and soaking it all in.
I'll admit it, sometimes I forget. I forget that she's only six, because she talks like a ten year old, understands like a teenager and can carry on a conversation like an adult. She reads and writes and does math problems for fun. She knows a disturbing amount of things about an amazing amount of subjects.

But sometimes I forget she's already six, too. She's my baby. The last baby. And there she is, pudgy cheeks, crawling in my lap, holding my hand, calling me Mama. There she is all smiles and never a worry. There she is, my girl.

I went to her "birthday celebration" at Montessori today and I managed not to cry through the whole ceremony of walking the Earth around the sun. And then, her teacher reminded the children that this would be Maren's last birthday celebration at Montessori and the tears ran.

That baby, the one that I can't seem to admit is growing up and can't seem to realize isn't already grown, she's six.  I've had six beautiful years with her and I have no doubt that all the ones yet to come will be just as lovely. Because it's hard to not be happy when she's around. It's hard to not smile when she laughs. And it's hard to forget you're loved by someone who never stops telling you.


Lisa said...

Happy Birthday Maren!

Suze said...

That was so beautiful, as is your daughter (both of them, actually!!)
Happy Birthday, Maren! And by the way, she can really rock a chef's toque.

Jessi said...

Lisa - Thanks! She had a great day and is planning a pretty great weekend.

Suze - Thanks! I do seem to make pretty kids. :) The chef's hat is her favorite and she refuses to make anything more complicated than a sandwich without it.