I didn’t really miss it….the Princess’ birthday. We did celebrate. She had gifts, and the breakfast and dinner of her choice. Her party is this Saturday. But I typically write a post on each of my babies’ birthdays. And I missed it. In my favor, we were traveling home from Tucson, AZ. But there was time once we were home, I just didn’t make use of it.
She’s thirteen. THIRTEEN!!!!!!! As much as I feel I didn’t connect while pregnant with her, there is so much I distinctly remember about that pregnancy, from the moment we found out I was pregnant again (when Big Man was a mere 4 1/2 months old), through the moment of her birth and bringing her home from the hospital when she was 36 hours old, as opposed to the 93 days old with Big Man. I remember needing to find out if she were a boy or girl so I would know what our NICU stay might be like since preemie girls are said to do better than preemie boys (another thought for another day). I remember all the guilt, worry, and paranoia while pregnant with her, the feeling I couldn’t live the NICU again. Then the irony of her having to be induced eight days after her due date. I can clearly see the pout on her face when she was born. She did not seem happy to be here. I remember her independence right out of the gate – she would not fall asleep in your arms, but rather, needed to be in her bed or bouncy seat, or pretty much anywhere else but my arms. I remember her fearlessness and curiosity. We hadn’t needed the baby gate across the stairs, nor the toilet locks for Big Man. She was the one into the cabinets, climbing stairs, playing in toilets, pulling trash out. She was the one who did the triple-back-flip down half a flight of stairs (no damage to her, thankfully). I remember her “taking a bath” in our courtyard fountain. I remember her stripping down to her diaper and jumping in the mud puddle in our backyard, while she was wearing her little diva sunglasses and curly pony tail. I remember her taking a soccer ball to the gut and dropping like a rock, then getting back up and scoring a goal. I remember her first ballet class with her pink leotard, pink tights, and pink ballet slippers. I remember the two days her older brother cut off ALL of her hair (yes, he did it twice, and yes, he cut it all off, to the scalp). I remember taking her to dance class with bruises all down one side from slamming into the the side of the goal while making a save. I also remember the drama-queen tantrums, the toddler laughs, the tiaras, the Princess parties, the hair do-dads, her calling her big brother “Bruddah” for over three years, her falling asleep anywhere and everywhere because she refused to nap, her trying to keep up with the neighborhood boys as she was the only girl for so long. I remember being thankful for my Princess.
Now, she’s thirteen. We’ve seen glimpses of what is to come – the moodiness, the snarkiness, the drama. I worry for the next five years and what they will hold for our relationship. As mature as she can be, especially when compared to her brothers, I still see that little girl in her, and I’m thankful. I’m not ready for her to be grown up. She skipped down the hall of the hotel the other day, and it made me smile. But on the same day, some teenage boy was checking her out at the pool, and as we walked the U of A campus I could see she was more like those college students than an elementary school kid, and I sighed the sigh of the mom of a teenage girl. She’s thirteen.