I was back and forth between smiling and laughing to swallowing down the lump in my throat all day.
"I'm not a kid anymore, mom", she said matter-of-factly, on our way home from picking up the big kids from school. A school where she'll have kindergarten round-up later this week.
My sweet, spunky, spirited, stubborn...so so stubborn child is a mighty force to be reckoned with.
She sparkles and delights and tantrums and tattles and dances and squeals and cartwheels and runs and disobeys and sings "Uptown Funk" at the top of her lungs down the aisles of the grocery store. And when I suggest a different song, because the "n" is missing from "funk", she just sings louder. And the mom-look I give her is given right back in a dare and a glare. And sometimes I'm too tired to battle, so I join in and sing along and onlookers can keep on judging, because all we can do is our best.
She is still a kid though...my baby. And her love, her unconditional love always shines through.
Some nights I go to bed exhausted and guilty and questioning, "what could I have done better and differently for the kids today?". And the thing that always comes to my mind and my heart and soul is just love them. Just love them like they love you. Unconditionally.
Happy Birthday, Kate. May your bright light always shine through.