I know, it's not momentous in the grand scheme of the universe, where babies are born every second in wildly varying ways (well, generally it follows a certain scheme) and in vastly different cultures and corners of the world and family configurations.
But for two childless mostly clueless people in their thirties, neither of whom had ever wiped a baby's bum let alone been solely responsible for its very survival and wellbeing, it was pretty huge.
The result of that earth-shaking delivery turns eight today, and what about her? To put it mildly, we shake our heads in wonder, confusion, consternation and hilarity even more often than I could have imagined eight years ago. She is all long legs and arms, flying hair and leaping imagination. She makes us crazy, she amazes us, she makes us laugh. She is smart and sassy, perhaps sometimes a bit too sassy but some would say that is only what I deserve in a daughter.
Every age is kind of wondrous, really. Babyhood is golden, warm and fuzzy, literally fuzzy in my case as I have very vague memories of whole periods of time in that first crazy wonderful painful first year of parenthood. A raging case of postpartum depression coloured that time, yet I still remember a happy baby who only cried when absolutely necessary (For God's sake, Mummy, FEED me already, it has been at least an hour!!!) and was a cheery little character who almost never stopped moving. I should have known when she was still in the womb beating a constant tattoo on my ribcage and bladder that she was bound to be a mover and a shaker for life.
As a babe and toddler she woke early and would coo and chatter to herself until someone noticed her. She basically started talking the moment she awoke in the morning and stopped when her eyes reluctantly fluttered shut at night. Once she got to her feet, she would stand in her crib until she literally fell over asleep in abject exhaustion.
It is fascinating to watch a child grow and develop, an exercise in mindfulness that perhaps is most appreciated when it is almost too late to do so. I find myself wishing as I see my ever-taller, ever-more-independent girls change every day that I had taken a deep breath more often when they were really little. We did try to appreciate every nuance but it is hard when you're in the thick of it. What is so fun to observe is that the very same character traits Kat had as a baby and toddler are still very much present in her today. Fierce determination comes to mind. Single-minded pursuit of what she wants is a trait she MAY have inherited from me but she makes me look like a pushover.
Her grey eyes are so expressive. They can wither you with a disdainful glance or make you feel you could never be more loved in this world than you are, right now.
She is what would have once been described as a tomboy. No girly, floofy pink ruffles for this girl. She started dressing herself at two and her, ahem, unique sense of style continues to evolve. She is sporty, lord only knows where she got that in the gene pool but it certainly was not from me, or her dad.
Her imagination knows no bounds. She and her sister have invented a whole world of fantasy called Los Lupes, where every day is a holiday, it is always summer, you can eat whatever you want and the Los Lupians live in tiny leaf houses and play all day long.
At home she is loud, active, bossy, funny, goofy and messy. At school (from what I can tell) she is quiet, shy, studious, a little serious, and quite tidy. Like all of us, she has a character she puts on for the world and everything else comes out only at home.
She never stops moving except when she sleeps, or is engrossed in a good book. She reads, and reads and reads, and for that I am grateful. We have always said Katherine hurtles through life, throwing her very heart and soul into every day. She does not walk. She runs, she cartwheels, she boogies, she does back walkovers across the lawn. Her energy knows no bounds. She is passionate and reserved at the same time. She is sensitive and insensitive at the same time.
She is eight. She is our baby. With every step she takes, she launches herself at the world. We want to hold on. Happy birthday, sweet child.