Five years ago at this time, I was four hours into labor and in the process of kicking my "entourage" out of the birthing suite because it was still too early for the epidural and I was scared of what I may say or do in the presence of those present. A couple of minutes and a shot of "something to take the edge off" later, I let them back in. Yes, I had a whole roomful of people present for the hours leading up to your arrival - Grandma, Grandpa, Grammy, Papa, Uncle Nathan, Auntie Melissa, Uncle Jason, Aunt Laura, Krista and Jason. It was a rip-roarin' good time...for them.
When you finally arrived almost ten hours and an emergency C-section later, you charmed the whole room with you wide-eyed alertness and perfect little bow tie mouth. You were the prettiest little newborn I've ever laid eyes on and many in that room would testify to the same.
This morning you came running into our bedroom excitedly asking, "Do you recognize me? I'm not 4 anymore!!!" And after much snuggling and giggling, you ran into the living room and tore into your presents.
And later this morning, you received at least 4 phone calls from different people to wish you a happy birthday and spent no less than 5-15 minutes with each. The amount of time you spend in phone conversations makes me laugh and yet scares me a little about the future.
Kayla, you are a wonderful amalgamation of wide-eyed innocence, old soul wisdom, childlike wonder and matter-of-fact understanding.
There was a boy in your preschool class who enrolled halfway through the school year. His name was Robert and he had a difficult time adjusting to preschool life. Each day you came home with a horror story about how "Robert had another rough day today." He pushed you, knocked over your blocks, hit you, pulled your hair and eventually kissed you (your dad almost lost his mind on that one).
You asked me why Robert acted that way. Before I knew the kid had a huge crush on you, I explained that you needed to be patient with him instead of judgmental. He wasn't there at the beginning of school with you and the rest of the class. He probably felt out of place and didn't know how to act and that maybe you should help him get adjusted by explaining and showing him how to behave in preschool.
And I didn't think too much more about it.
Until the end of the year conference I had with your teacher. She brought up your relationship with Robert. I got nervous. "Uh-oh. Had Kayla been the instigator of all these horror stories and just put a spin on them?" I panicked.
Your teacher proceeded to tell me that Robert had made leaps and bounds of progress this year and she attributed much of it to you. Each day you'd sit down with him and read a book or do a puzzle with him. When he started to act up, you'd take him aside and patiently explain to him that wasn't how to behave in preschool. (No wonder the kid fell in love with you.)
I did my best not to cry in front of your teacher.
You amaze me. Each and every day I wonder what we did so right to deserve a wonderful little girl like you.
Here are some photos of your birthday morning.: