She's 4 now. My sweet baby who made me a mom turned four years old today. Well, it's after midnight now so technically her birthday was yesterday, but she was born at 11:36 p.m., so this time four years ago, I still had her naked on my chest. Or maybe we were trying to nurse for the first time. We weren't to our room yet, I know that - it was after 3 a.m. before I finally ate, after 21 hours of labor and only a quickly-slurped cup of potato soup Jimi snuck in to my room and slid to me between the nurse's check-ins. Grilled cheese and fries, that's what I had that morning. Everything was bland and a little soggy, the way hospital food always is. I was high on endorphins and the amazement of what I'd just done, and I couldn't stop staring at that little bitty face, that teeny button nose. She had some bruises on the bridge of her nose and across her brow and a teeny little red strawberry mark on her chest - those all faded long ago. She's 4 now.
She can spell her name and writes it with a little nudging. She's learning to write numbers. She can "read" - I know she's memorized these books, but it's really neat to hear your child of not-quite-four recite words from a page.
She's so persistent. She is so determined. She's so moody. She's kind and sweet and good. She tries so hard to please. She is a caring and thoughtful and loving big sister, to Cora and Finnegan (whom she calls her "puppy brother". She has recently started telling me she wants a people brother, but I shut that shit down because no.). She is bright and sunshiny and full of laughter and goofiness and fun. She is also grumpy and whiny and petulant, but usually only for a short time.
She is exactly like me.
A better version, of course.
I sure hope I'm able to do right by her.
I hope I can be the mom she deserves, the mom they both deserve.
Happy Birthday, Hiku baby. You are my sunshine.