I like how the French say happy birthday. “Bon anniversaire.” After all, your birthday is your own personal anniversary. The anniversary of you. Ella’s birthday is today; she’s four. It’s the anniversary of that little girl entering our lives, covering us with stardust and magic.
I wish I could bottle up her spirit and her strength and her sweetness. I wish I could stop time, but these pictures will have to do. I wanted to capture her curls and her grace and bring the fairytales she’s always imagining to life.
She’s so excited to turn four. She’s talked about her birthday for months, at least since the summer. She’s already so anxious to grow up, asking when she can drive, when she can get married, when can she have a baby in her tummy. I want to tell her to slow down, to enjoy the gift that is childhood. This gift she’s given me, of getting to experience it all again and getting to really appreciate it this time.
I’m getting to have a second childhood. Not just doing all the fun things kids get to do; motherhood is really another education, another process of growing and changing. I mean, I’m only a four year old mother. Though I was joking with my mom last night that a mother gets a thousand years older every year. I’ve certainly had growth spurts and growing pains and Ella has been there for all of them. She’s my teacher as much, if not more than I am hers.
I only push myself to be a better person because it will make me a better mom. A mom she’ll trust and rely on and feel confident in as she gets older. If I can become just the tiniest bit better, softer, wiser– her brother and any future siblings will have Ella to thank for that. I’m growing up with her. Because of her.
Happy Anniversary, Ella Belle.