Today I was met with bright, happy eyes and giggles. Your friend Claire was here for a few hours before school to read books and play piano with you. You know the routine in our house on a weekday morning - Daddy wakes you up and fills your tummy with oatmeal, then Miss Claire comes to play for a while, and then Mama comes home from work and that means it is alllllllmost time for school.
People ask what we're doing to special to celebrate your birthday. Truth is, every day that you get to go to school, hang out with your girls Lily and Claire, play your piano, read a few books, and get a double kiss from Mom and Dad is the Best Day Ever in your book.
Seriously, how are you old enough for Show and Tell and birthday treats already? Weren't you just 2?!?
Sigh. At some point in the last 2 weeks or 5 years you grew a bunch of teeth and started walking and talking and your hair grew back in and you started looking so grown-up that it takes my breath away. I'm never quite sure if I'm happy or a little sad when November 3 rolls around. I'm so VERY happy that I get to be your mama. I'm just a little sad, though, that you are growing so big, and you need me a little bit less each day.
That's okay, though. That's my job, even if it makes me a little sad. You might think my job is the place I come home from, smelling like coffee and breakfast sandwiches, swishing around in a frenzy because I have less than 20 minutes to get you dressed and off to school. You might think my job is folding your clothes and chauffeuring you to appointments and telling you again and again to take your fingers out of your ears and listen to world around you. But my biggest and my BEST job, Libby Joy, is to help you need me less.
And BOY OH BOY are we winning at that this past year. Some days I don't even recognize you anymore! Your pants are all too short and you skipped an entire size of shoes this past summer. You giggle hysterically at sounds that used to terrify you. If I talk too long with Miss Angie when I drop you off for school, you start yelling at me. "Bye, bye! Bye, bye!" If I ignore you, you get louder: "BYE, BYE MOM!!!"
Get out of here, Mom. This is MY time. I'm ready to shine.
I'm so in love with the family pictures we had done a few weeks ago. The light that evening was such a beautiful reflection of bright, vibrant, five-year-old YOU! Your big personality is growing just as fast as your long, long legs. And each day that you need me less, I am learning more and more from you.
Mostly I'm learning that it's okay not to know everything. I have so very many questions about your future, and I get myself awfully worked up and worried, don't I? I think Mommy, and really **ahem** all of America at this pivotal moment, could do well to take a page out of Libby's book. Stand in the sun and soak it up. Take pure joy from simple things. Be okay with not knowing all the answers. Know Jesus, know love, spread it around, and that is enough.
You, Libby Joy, are my bright light. I know that each day you need me less, you've grown and learned something new. On this, your fifth birthday, I'm so happy to follow your lead and let you do you.