My firstborn baby turned thirteen years old today.
Last night, after the kids’ bedtime and before we went to sleep, Mr. December and I hung some balloons, carefully placed others, strategically hid rubber ducks, and set up a prank outside her door.
Sadly, most of those things were in disarray by the time K saw them. The balloons on the wall fell off it; the giant ducky balloon tipped the whole stand over (note to self: use a weight next time); and the bag of ducks that was supposed to shower Kali with its contents when she opened her bedroom door… well, she opened her door this morning to see a plastic bag of ducks on the floor. It’s okay, though. She was still thrilled. She spent half an hour reorganizing her duck collection to accommodate the newcomers.
As a baby K slept a lot, ate well, cried shrilly, and had an infectious smile and laugh. Thirteen years later, not much has changed. Sure, she’s taller and more adult-shaped now, but her personality has remained constant.
I love watching my kids grow up. But for a very early exception (I cried when she outgrew newborn size diapers at four weeks old) I’m always excited about whatever new stage they’re growing into. It’s miraculous, all of it, and I’m not trying to hold on to their babyhood; and yet sometimes I get nostalgic for the days of snuggling baby K to my chest.
Apparently she gets nostalgic too. Tonight she begged me to read to her, to which I agreed. We went into the library and I sat down in my favourite chair: a fully upholstered rocking chair. I expected K to spread herself out on the beanbag, but instead she announced, “I’m going to snuggle you.”
I barely had time to process that statement before she climbed right into my lap and arranged a fuzzy blanket around her. Her head rested on my shoulder the entire time I was reading. Even though she’s as tall as I am now, it still brought back some of that snuggling-a-baby feeling. My legs may beg to differ (once they get their circulation back) but I told K we could snuggle like that anytime she wanted.
Happy Birthday, K!