Tonight, on the eve of the day we celebrate seven years of this young beauty filling our hearts and our lives with her bright smile, we sang Happy Birthday surrounded by friends and loved ones. I held back big, overly-emotional mama tears as I looked around and this cheerful girl, and her two little brothers… my three, my happy three, and realized just how blessed I truly am.
And also? Seven. SEVEN. It’s true what they say, you blink and they grow up. I’ve been Oh Em Gee’ing all day that with sunrise tomorrow morning comes the official seven year mark and I’m floored. She’s growing up way too fast for me, and I don’t want to miss a thing. I’ve decided to stop blinking from now on.
A few days ago, Brayden was eating cereal and as per usual was noshing in his casually slow manner. I looked over and with big exasperated eyes said, “Oh you’d better stop eating! No more bites… because then you’ll grow and I don’t think you should grow anymore. Just stay three forever, okay? So no more eating… and definitely, no more growing.” He laughed his contagious laugh that starts with the biggest smile and ends up shining through his big blue eyes before landing right in my heart, and then scooped up bite after amused bite, laughing and shining and making my entire insides happy with his adorable grin. Clearly proud of himself, as his spoon hit the bottom of an empty cereal bowl, he beamed, “Mom, I’m seven.”
I think that’s about how it happens. Yesterday, Aliyah was three and eating cereal with a cartooned toddler spoon and tomorrow morning she’ll wake up as a seven year old… a seven year old girl who requested makeup for her birthday. More specifically, “Makeup; but not anything too highly pigmented.” And yes, she knows exactly what that means.
For this birthday, my spirited young one asked to fly back home to Michigan to see family and friends that she’s been missing in lieu of a party. And so we obliged, but not without a small little dinner get together tonight because we couldn’t send her off without celebrating her life, and birth, first. Come tomorrow, we’ll wave goodbye as she spreads her wings even further and spends the morning of her seventh amid the blue skies and fluffy white clouds that will carry her and Nana across the thousand mile stretch from here to our old hometown.
I don’t want to sleep, I don’t want this night to end or morning to come quite so quickly. I know we’re here, I knew this day would come, as it does every year. I’m loving her and celebrating her and enjoying it, and yet there’s a lump in my throat while I process how far we’ve come from the day she made me a mama.
And even with my wishing and teary eyes and lumpy throat, midnight has come, and Aliyah, my darling… is now SEVEN.