Thursday, March 29, 2007

Happy Birthday To You, You Live In A Zoo, I'm Not Just Teasing, It's Actually True.

We celebrated Maddy's seventh year of hell-raising on planet Earth this week with a family shindig over at my mom's house. My mother showed off her Cake Goddessery by making a strawberry-and-vanilla checkerboard cake, which was equal parts delicious and confusing.

How do they do that?

Seven years. Whoa. Seven sounds exponentially older than six, which sounded exponentially older than five, etc. The morning of Maddy's birthday, I was getting very sentimental about my baby girl, being so grown up. In a lot of ways, I don't think of her as a daughter, but more like my sidekick. Sometimes I get sad when she's at a friend's house or with her dad because I want to spend time with her, because there's things I want to tell her, things I'd like her opinion on, like she is a peer. For a long time, it was just Maddy and me against the world, and that team connotation often times is more prominent than an overwhelming maternal feeling. She doesn't give me much of a chance to feel maternal, since she's been out-diva-ing me since she was two. These were the things I was thinking about as I was watching her get ready for school on the morning of her birthday, watching her as she checked out her reflection, making sure her bangs were perfect, then doing a full turn to check out her outfit in the full-length mirror. All growds up.

I was reminiscent that morning almost to the point of being morose, despite the fact that Chris and I were heading straight to my doctor's after we dropped the kids off at school. Chris was extremely excited- it was the day of the potentially-gender-determining-ultrasound, but I couldn't get too jazzed- I was so preoccupied thinking about all things Madelynn. I was also trying not to get my hopes up because both of my children required multiple ultrasounds to figure out what sort of equipment they were packing. Imagine that- my kids, shy? No, I don't think that's it, I think of it more as them being uncooperative. Ah yes, makes perfect sense.

Once we were in the dark ultrasound room, watching our baby on TV, I snapped out of my melancholy. There was Baby, wiggling and waving, face pressed right up against my uterus. And then there was the baby's body in profile, where the sound waves from the ultrasound machine projected such a clear image that it cast shadows through the spinal column like rays of sunlight through clouds. As the ultrasound technician moved the wand over my belly, the baby turned it's head to look at us dead-on. That part was kind of creepy... but, you know, really awe-inspiring at the same time. And, on the morning of my not-quite-a-baby girl turning seven, I got a present- the opportunity to do it all over again with another baby girl.

Here's to more pigtails, more bows, and more pink cakes in our future!

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