It’s Bridie’s birthday today, and she is five. I can’t believe it. It seems like just yesterday that we held her for the first time, and fell in love.
I remember when she was born. We already had one girl, but I so wanted another. We didn’t find out her her sex at the ultrasound, and by the time of her birth, I was just itching to know. When I realised we had another, perfect little girl, I was instantly smitten.
She isn’t the easiest child. Her name means Strong and Spirited, and she most definitely is that! From the moment of her birth she has had a very strong opinion on pretty much everything! She constantly pushes the boundaries, and pushes my patience. She is determined, and passionate, and incredibly stubborn.
But she is also generous, and compassionate, and the most physically affectionate person I have ever met. Today, on her birthday, she has shared her toys beautifully, even letting her siblings play with her new things before she herself did. She selflessly offered to buy them presents with her birthday money (although in the end she didn’t), and she let Taylah choose whether we would have lunch or morning tea at the shops. She has offered to share her new doll with Ava, and her new Smiggle crayons with Taylah. She may have just turned five, but today I am amazed at the maturity she has shown.
Bridie hasn’t had an easy ride. She has been plagued by different forms of stomach pains since she was born, and only received a conclusive diagnosis this year. (She is Casein Intolerant.) She also has problems with her right ear. The ear drum perforates pretty much every month, and as a result it hasn’t healed properly. When she is a little older she will need to have a skin graft done to repair it, which will be the fourth or fifth time she has been under a GA. To be honest I can’t remember. But she doesn’t complain. She just keeps going, and puts up with it. She is a trooper, through and through.
At every birthday I love to stop and take stock. To remember my baby and see how they have grown. The fifth birthday is one of those significant ones. It means they are moving out of those early formative years, into the next stage of life. It’s one of the best ages I think. Up till about three or four, they are so physically exhausting, and then once they reach those middle years, they are emotionally and relationally exhausting. This time of life is a little easier. We move out of those early boundary setting years, and just build on the framework before they reach eight and begin to question everything.
But it can also be a scary time. The first five years are when we establish the right to lead; when they learn who’s boss. If it’s not clear whose is in charge by five, you are pretty much playing catch up. With Bridie’s strong willed temperament, I’m never sure if she has got the message. Does she know I win? Or is she just biding her time with submission, until she finds a battle she can fight?
As her mother I know she is not perfect. I don’t ever pretend my kids are, and you only need to read my blog to find out! But just like I can look back five years ago and see glimpses of her personality at just minutes old, I am hoping that I will look back on today in five years, and see the character traits that are just the beginning. Her first school report was nothing to brag about academically (nothing bad either. She falls firmly into the average basket), but the qualities that were emphasised definitely are. She was described as a hard worker; she plays well with others but also works well independently. She is organised and disciplined. She is kind and compassionate. Those are the thing that make my mothers heart swell. I don’t care if she never becomes a lawyer, or a doctor or anything that earns six figures, if she knows how to treat people, and work hard.
But on that note, she may also make an awesome rock star one day.
Finally, the picture up the top is a photo of the Rapunzel Cake I made for Bridie. I wasn’t going to put it on, cause it is less than perfect (because KMart’s toy sales didn’t not have a Tangled doll, and the only long haired one I could find was too big, hence the marshmallows), but when I googled how to make one, I came across about three people’s blogs, so thought I would try my luck at that one. I’d much rather be found for HOME MADE TANGLED RAPUNZEL BIRTHDAY CAKE (I don’t think have caps lock on helps, but you never know), than being googled for Boobs. Which has happened.
Have a good weekend!