The Big 5 Birthday

Yesterday my daughter turned five. What a mile stone. It has went buy so fast. There are so many things I’m proud of her for. She has really grown over the last few years.
Looking back I remember when she couldn’t hold her head up and slept all the time. The times she would be up all night due to gas or a colic or many other things. How we used to always check to make sure she is breathing and the constant monitoring.
When she was born I remember that I held my breath till I heard her cry for the first time. How she came out purple and that feeling I had when I know she was going to be ok. How the doctors took care of her and checked her. Each time they would I would fear for the worst and when they came back and told us she was healthy and good I would feel a wave of relief.
Later when she started playing with stuff and sitting up on her own was exciting. It was exciting how her personality would slowly start to show as she became more and more expressive. The times I would spend in the chair feeding her a bottle and we’d both fall asleep, I’ll never forget.
Later she would eventually begin to crawl and then walk and the fear that she’d get into something she shouldn’t would become a fear I’d have to live with. How she loved to walk with me as she was learning was one of my best memories of this time.
Every time she would get sick we would all fear for the worst and eventually she would get better. I remember how each time this happened my wife and I would discuss if we need to bring her to the hospital or if it was just a minor cold.
Our bed wasn’t our own for the first few years. Each night we would put her to sleep in her crib and by the morning I would wake to her and my wife next to me. The feeling of contentment when I would see this was amazing.
The first day we had to drop her off at day care was a torture. There was no time I wanted to be away from her or to leave her with someone else while I went to work. Remembering back to then I can’t shake how I felt it was wrong that I wasn’t raising my own child but leaving it up to someone else. I never understood how this was normal and the way things should be. To this day I still struggle with having someone else raise my children while I go to work.
The first year of her dance classes where especially special to me. How initially she had a difficult time following instructions and getting the moves down was worrisome. Then when it came time to do the final recital she had it all mastered. How my mom, wife, and I all watched as she came on stage and showed the world how well she can perform. The pride I had watching her up on the stage while she showed no fear and total confidence as she performed in from of an auditorium full of people was overwhelming.
Now she is five. This year in the fall she will start school and I know the time when friends are going to be more important than me is coming. Knowing she is going to have to deal with bullies and overbearing teachers on her own is heart breaking. The fear I will have that she is not being treated right or signaled out for some reason is palpable. The first time she gets in trouble I know I will be on her side and feel the rule she broke was silly and pointless. Unless of course it is something truly bad and not just some arbitrary rule to keep discipline and dominance by the school system. There is hope that she survives school with her individuality and creativity and I hope she does. Maybe she will get a good set of teachers that will foster her independence and creativity and not crush it in hopes she becomes a good nine to five worker.
Well it’s been five years and I pray that I have many, many, more with her. The journey has been nerve wracking, scary, and the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of her and I tell everyone as much as I can without becoming a braggart. Here is to you my little princess, may life always give you what you need, what you want, and challenges that help you grow and doesn’t wear you down.
Thanks for taking the time to read me gush about my little girl. Let me know of your experiences and take care.

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