The mackerdoodle turned six. That is remarkable to me in so many ways. She was our miracle baby, the balm on our grief, the answer to a decade of prayer and now she is six and she is still all of those things and more.
We celebrated over two days, which meant I didn’t get a lot of work done over those two days, so Wednesday evening I settled in for a long evening of work (and by work, I mean I cut and glued fun foam and felt. I am not a rocket scientist). At midnight, I called it and was just about to head to bed when I heard the sounds of feet coming down the hall. There was the mackerdoodle. She came straight to me, climbed on my lap and said, “Hi!”
“Honey, do you know what time it is?” I asked her.
“Morning?” She said, hopefully.
“It’s midnight. I was just about to go to bed.”
Tears welled up in her eyes – sure sign to a mama that a kid isn’t as awake as she is pretending to be – and I grabbed her before she slipped off my lap and back to bed. I hugged her close and thought that I don’t see her at midnight that much any more, and let’s be honest, I probably won’t for another ten years or so. I had such a clear memory of holding her when she was days old and day and night meant nothing to an exhausted but delighted new mama. I looked into her little newborn face and wondered what it would be like when she could talk to me and tell me that she loved me.
After a moment, we stood up, and she turned out the lights in the kitchen while I turned out the lights in the living room, and then I walked her down the hall, to her top bunk. She climbed it and settled back into her pillow doubtful that she would be able to go back to sleep.
I had no way of knowing, six years ago, that this little one would also have a brother and a sister. I had no way of knowing, six years ago, that six years would go by in a single heartbeat, and an entire lifetime. I could have never guessed that at midnight on her sixth birthday the last thing she would say to me before drifting back to sleep would be, “Mama, why are you still awake at midnight?”
The mackerdoodle turned six, and that means that 1/3 of my 18 years with her is over. I pray that in 12 years, when she’s about to embark on that awkward journey into independence, her eyes will still light up when she finds me at a laptop, in a quiet house. I pray she will still have the spunk and the love to ask me why I am still awake at midnight.
The mackerdoodle turned six and I feel like I just said goodbye to my baby, but I’m looking forward to the walk with this little lady that has taken her place.