When you are pregnant with your first child, your world expands. Nine months until your life changes forever. You imagine a year from now when you have a baby. And you think years ahead... school, teenagers, one day their own children.
Your pregnancy progresses and months are the focus. Eight to go.... seven.... six. Eventually your focus shifts to weeks. Only 15 more weeks to go! 15 weeks doesn't feel so long, and yet it stretches for all eternity.
When Ada was born, she was 10 weeks early. That TEN stood shockingly in our minds. Our expanded timelines suddenly collapsed into hours.... tests, waiting.... minutes..... the operating room, waiting for her to come out.... seconds....she is here.... into my single breaths waiting to hear her.... one..... two.... three.... and she cried!
|Ada at birth|
As she was whisked away time slowly, slowly started to expand again. Minutes, as they told me she was breathing well, hours til I could see her, days til I could hold her.
Forty-two long days passed and she came home. Our world expanded again. How old is she? She is three months.... four..... and then one year had passed.
|Ada at 1|
As we stand on the precipice of her turning five, as I slow my thoughts, I can almost feel my world collapse again into those slow seconds as she was born. I remember the dragging agony as each second took an hour. And then I look up- and there she is. Five. Giggling, gangly, my girl. Five years has both zoomed by and taken forever to arrive.
|Ada at 2|
FIVE is the number that is in the back of all parents minds from the day their child is born. It's foggy to start and not really a clear focus, but as the child grows, FIVE starts to grow on the horizon. You have FIVE years with them just yours. As Ada grew, three, four, FIVE started to become something on her own horizon. She started to get excited about school and about this magical number all the kids talked about.
'I wish I would be five,' she said when she was three.
I thought both, 'slow down' and 'I can't wait either.'
|Ada at 3|
Ada, I am so proud of you today. I feel like my heart will burst out of it's chest with love. My throat is thick with tears, although I won't let you see. Right now I can see you playing with Hunter, reading a book, asking me 'why??' again. You are in front of me, and you are in my mind too... baby Ada, so tiny, paper thin skin, covered in wires, warm and unknowable. Like a parallel picture, I can see both as if they are both happening at the same time.
|Ada at 4|
A parents goal is to grow a child in independence and confidence, which means they slowly move further and further away from you. From that utterly dependant baby, through five years you are now slowly moving away from me, as you should. In 3 weeks you will start school, a new important chapter in your life, and another step towards being you.
Five is a milestone, one tinged with nostalgia and also great joy and celebration.
Ada, today you are fierce, firey, fantastic, funny, flourishing, FIVE
|Ada at 5|