If I had a dollar for every time someone lovingly stared down at my first little bundle and whispered, "enjoy it, time goes by fast," it still wouldn't have been nearly enough to capture this feeling.
It's something you comprehend intellectually, but it doesn't hit the heart until you run across that tiny pair of pants that no longer fit, or the "I love you mommy" handprints you'll get a dozen times in preschool. You miss it because each milestone, the first words, first steps, the first day of kindergarten brings this immense pride and excitement for what's next. You live for those new developments with your first child, especially, until you look up and they're no longer babies anymore. Where did the time go?
It's also what I wanted to impart in my daughter as she celebrated her 8th birthday, to create and fully enjoy experiences. She can always get stuff, she can always buy gifts...but that is fleeting, she will remember and look back on a life that she intentionally created with joy.
In turn, we had a blast this past weekend.
Exploring and lounging in an amazing five star resort, with a cool view of the Atrium from our balcony, complete with Koi fish and alligators inside. Outside was a huge waterpark, Sam splashed and played her heart out with friends. We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the brand new Planet Hollywood restaurant, eating under a massive 3D screen with all sorts of neon lights. And we laughed, hysterically, and danced at Blue Man Group, the girls were so happy and carefree.
(Might I add, we did all of this on a budget, happiness does not mean breaking your bank account.)
It's what I owe to her, for being so resilient. For making this parenting "practice run" a completely fulfilling and amazing life. Samara is a kind, brilliant, loving soul. She deserves all the best the world has to offer. I hope to give her a sliver of it.
Happy 8th Birthday Samara!!!