Before going to bed the night before her fifth birthday, Lily commented that her pajamas were still a little bit big, “…but I’ll be five in the morning, they’ll probably fit just right when I wake up.” My husband and I laughed while we exchanged a she’s-so-adorable-I-could-eat-her look.
But, I swear Lily did seem just a little taller the next morning.
We dropped Jackson off at school and headed to our favourite park for a special birthday walk. Watching Lily run ahead to find the perfect leaf for her bouquet of fallen autumn treasures, I thought my baby isn’t a baby anymore.
There were trees towering over us, their leaves gold and crimson, as we played our way along the trail. Whenever there was a moment of silence I would ask, “How old are you today?” “Five! …Mom, am I five right now?” Without fail, she would ask if the moment had finally arrived as if wanting to know the precise moment she should feel different.
Lily stopped in a clearing where the sun broke through the trees and bathed her in light. She stood still, looking skyward. I cursed myself for not having the camera to capture the serenity of the moment. I caught up and we both stood watching as the leaves made their descent, falling to the ground on the wind’s gentle wings. It was mesmerizing, like watching an intensely colourful slow motion rain-shower. Lily reached out and took my hand. I couldn’t help but smile. She may not be that tiny four pound baby that fell asleep on my chest five years ago, but, with her hand still so small in mine, I thought she’s still my baby.