05 July 2010


Abrielle Barko Image: Jennifer Barko

I am writing this on the eve of Five; assuming that like all of the dawns previous, tomorrow will come. I will greet it with a smile and with a sense of heaviness that I assume one day, should you have children, you will understand.

"I's not your baby, Ma." I can't tell you what those words mean to me, what they do to me. You've heard thousands of times already that you will always be my baby. You'll hear it thousands times more, for it is the truest of the few truths that I know.

Hope, Little A; you're also my hope.
Love, Little A; you're also my love.
Laughter and joy and all that is light; you are also those things to me.

I watch you carefully and quietly, trying to drink in all that is you, believing that since it was I that carried you; I that held you, that surely somehow I must be able to capture all of you and hold it tight to me. I know of course, that there is no holding light, no holding time. I know this, yet, each day, I have to learn it again.

I want you to fly. I want you to grow and run and be the force that I know you will be upon the world. I want these things for you.

I also want to hold you close; to stop time; to turn the clocks and stay here, now, when I am your hero, your "bestest mom in 'da world", still able to scoop you up and snuggle with you at night and make up stories and talk about dreams and dance with wild abandon without fear of who might see.

I see the look in your eyes, when you're staring out at something that doesn't quite exist, murmuring words that have been put into your heart, without you knowing how they got there. I know those words, love. I see what others do not, for I saw those things too. I recited those verses as well. And that scares me, Little A. There are easier paths than those of a dreamer. It's not that I want the easy path for you; it's that I want to shield you from certainly what is to come.

I look at you and see me so clearly that it sometimes startles me to my core. When you whisper your dreams to me in the dark of the night with stunning detail, I understand, and I remember what it is to dream. I used to love dreaming so much that I looked forward to bed; to sleep; to slumber--and I recall how hard it was for me to adapt when those nights of solitude slowly ebbed out of my life. I don't want that for you, Little A. I want you to always dream.

I don't want Five. I don't want you to know about the things that you'll learn. I don't want your sweet little heart to break over and over and over again while you will the world to change and greet each unchanged sunrise with a sense of surprise and sorrow and unhampered belief that today is the day; you will change the world today. And yet, I believe it is possible, Little A, if anyone will change this world, I believe it could be you, so I know that I need to set you forth and cheer you on and offer you what little I know. I promise I will do this with each breath that I take.

I don't want Five. I don't want The Magic to end. I want you to believe that you are magic always; that you have the power to do things that others cannot. I want you to know that this is true. I believe that you can make this true.

"Ma, my magic only works when I's with you," you said to me. Someday, you'll understand why my eyes filled with tears when I responded, "I know what you mean, Buddy."

For all the not wanting, Five, I know, is nearly here. I can feel Time making its' way into our home right now, silently slipping in with the dark as the light draws from this day. I will stay awake tonight and watch you sleep. I will count your breaths as I've done in the past; I'll rest my hand upon your chest and kiss your unwitting cheeks and will greet your awakening eyes with the brightest smile that I can muster.

Each day that I've had you in my life has been the greatest day I've known. I love you beyond love.

Five, Little A.



Anonymous said...

Please tell Little A that we love her very much and to have the bestest birthday ever. I will be there soon. Love, Grandma

Amy Marie said...

My daughter just turned five in February...you expressed this beautifully. Thank you.

Kelly @ Student of the Year said...

My youngest will turn 5 in October. They're situated right between baby and kid, still possessing the soft, round face, but a more angular body, bigger words, and more wants.

I know you're lucky to have her, but she's lucky to have you, too.

Anonymous said...

I love the way you write. I have been a silent lurker at your blog for ever now - but this was so beautiful that I had to reach out and let you know.

We need a childhood more than our child ever does, this much I believe.