Monday, April 07, 2008

birthday girl

Leila is 5 today. I kind of consider this my anniversary of becoming a mother, not just her birthday.
This morning I woke her up before I left for work by singing softly to her. She didn't want to wake up. "Five more minutes," she said. (This is very unlike her, as she usually pops right awake. Oh, no, I thought. She's turning 5!) "I want to show you your new birthday clothes," was barely out of my mouth when she sat up, all sleepiness gone.
We talked for a few minutes. "I'm not 5 yet," she said. "You're not five the minute you wake up."
"When do you turn five?"
"Maybe at school."
Later I called home to remind her to take the cookies and napkins to school. She hadn't forgotten.
"Are you five yet?" I asked.
"When did you turn five?"
"Well, I just want people to think I already turned five."
"You did, baby," I told her. "Unless you want to wait until the hour you were born, which is five."
"The hour I was born I was 0," she corrected me.
Okay. I wonder if she's turned 5 yet. Maybe it requires something magical found only in blowing out birthday candles, licking them clean, and devouring a big piece of cake with ice-cream. Or maybe it's found inside the wrapping paper of a gift, smashed up against the box that holds the present, and only released when the paper is torn off. In either case, it won't be until tonight.

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