Today I woke to your sweet giggles from the other room. And I smiled big at your excitement bursting. But it took just about all my strength to sing that birthday song to you this morning without letting the tears spill out.
For somehow a half a decade’s worth of days have gone by, and you just keep capturing my heart over and over.
Oh, Ariya – I can’t tell you how much I adore you, my forever baby.
You with your glorious smiles and elaborate stories.
You with your sweet determination and constant growth shown in the words you’ve read, bikes you’ve ridden, teeth you’ve lost.
You with your big heart and the way you dazzle everyone with your love.
So many days I wish I could convince you to slow down; stop growing for a little bit. I just want to bottle up the treasure of you – right here, right now.
It was five years ago that I held you all swaddled in my womb.
And those pitch black hours of the early morning were the last time I felt kicks from the inside –
The last time I heard the thumping of a heartbeat so loud and beautiful –
The last time the journey of sleepless nights and baby shampoo and endless diapers and sweet newborn smiles was birthed from this crazy love.
That morning you captured my heart with just one glance and proved that miracles are still possible.
For this mama’s womb had been stretched right thin, and when you came out you were this deep shade of blue, and then there was that hole in the middle of your little heart.
Yeah, don’t ever forget that God still works miracles today.
Just a few weeks later you were the blue-eyed beauty that taught us that God brings hope in the darkness and we can trust Him.
And five years later you’re still showing us beautiful glimpses of God.
Oh, my little girl, I love you! And I hope today has been a day that you’ve seen and felt and lived and breathed that love – as we tromped over to Burger King for breakfast just so you could play in the play place, and as we cooked up your favorite macaroni and cheese, and as we bounced as high as we could in the bouncy house set up just for you, and as we sang and smiled and celebrated while you blew out five candles on your Shopkins birthday cake.
Keep giggling, precious girl.
Keep playing and dancing and praying to Jesus.
Keep learning and smiling and giving sweet glimpses of His love.
And even though part of me would love for you to stay five forever – please don’t ever stop growing into the beautiful young lady God has created you to be.
Happy 5th Birthday, Ariya Faith!
You are loved deeply!