It's this number. A number that, when I was sitting in a hospital many years ago holding this small human that I had just given birth to, seemed like an impossibility. How could this small bean ever grow to be any bigger than this?
During those sleep deprived nights, when I had no idea what you wanted or how to comfort you, six seemed so far away.
And in this toddling babe, I saw glimpses of six.
Then I watched in amazement as you first smiled, rolled, sat up, stood alone, walked and talked. And slowly, your limbs lengthened, your understanding grew.
I could never begin to know how much you'd grow in those years leading up to six. How you'd accomplish things like swinging by yourself, tying your shoe and reading. How you'd finally learn to ride your scooter.
I've watched in humble awe as you've faced life with a courage I wish I myself possessed. You are a sensitive soul: talkative yet timid; outgoing yet shy. There are things that frighten you, like performing in front of others. And at times in these 6 years, it has derailed you, hindered you. But even recently, I've watched you face those fears despite the discomfort.
You play easily with others yet never push your way into a situation. You notice things about everyone and you remember everything you hear. You are easily frustrated, especially when something doesn't come naturally to you. I'm gently teaching you that most things don't come naturally at first. That when you struggle the first few times, it's okay to shrug it off and say, "I'll get it next time." I don't want you to quit easily, especially when you shine at so many things.
Your sister is your biggest fan.
I'm not sure what you make of me. And in so many ways I worry about how I'm failing you. That I might not be expressing each day how deeply and impossibly wholly I love you. That everything you do, including your failures, makes me proud.
I think you are absolutely beautiful.
A beauty that goes beyond your long limbs and blue-green eyes.
It's a beauty rooted in your soul. The gentleness that comes out around babies and small children. The kindness I see you extend to others. The sweet words I hear you whisper to Maggie when you think no one is listening.
The loveliness in your voice when you call me Momma.
I love you, Lu.
I am so proud of every one of your 6 years.