Birthdays bring up all the complicated and mushy feelings of time slipping away, and there's a part of me that would like to keep her four years old forever. But as the book says, if I kept her little, I'd miss out on all she's going to be, and another part of me can't wait to see where this girl of mine will go.
We had a birthday party for her last Saturday, with just four of her special friends and two very special guests: Queen Elsa and Princess Anna. It was Kind Of A Big Deal, though she got a little starstruck and hugged Anna good-bye but wouldn't hug Elsa after sitting next to her and simply beaming up at her for a brief moment.
She pretended not to remember the plot of Frozen, though she has reenacted it countless times with her sister and her little characters, and she wasn't too sure about dancing at first. And yet, she told me breathlessly that this was "the best party EVER!" and she was completely in awe of her cake (which I can't take credit for making--I totally outsourced it).
Really, though, her life was basically made that morning when I gave her the fake hair Elsa braid on a barrette that I bought at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon. I probably could have just given her the fake hair and skipped the party and she would have been pretty freaking happy.
And now she's four... and next year is kindergarten... and she's so brave and so fearless and yet, in so many ways, still just a baby.
She still lights up our lives with her enthusiasm and her sense of humor cracks us up. She says things that shock me (like when she remarked, on our way to the zoo, that when she was a baby in my tummy, she peeked out my privates (OMG WTF, RIGHT?)) and things that melt my heart (like when she woke up the day after her birthday and the first thing she said in her little sleepy voice was "I love you, Mommy"). She'll call me "Mother" (pronounced more like "mutter") in the haughtiest tone, and then turn around and want to snuggle. She'll push Coco's buttons and make her fuss, but she's also quick to run and comfort her if she stumbles.
She's brought us joy and eased our grief in her own way, and I will forever be grateful for the moment that this rainbow baby entered the world.
Here's to four years of Zuzu and all the magic that she's made of.