I took this three days ago, people. That means today she looks another 3 days past age 17. I mean, today is just a day at the end of July. Just a day that doesn't mean much, except today she seems older to me. Maybe all my hard work paid off, maybe it was all the healthy food I made her eat, maybe it was just the natural occurrence of things.
But the truth is, and must be, that it's not me that is responsible for this wonderful person she has become. It's all her. Inside the little bug of a baby she used to be, was this beautiful, leafy, bloomy thing just waiting to show me what it means to be the mother of a 5 year old. She had an extra red leather pouch full of pure GOODNESS inside her heart that I didn't know about. How could that be?
A few weeks of preschool has helped, and now she writes all the time, on everything, with every single pen. Did I mention she writes ALL THE TIME? Consequently, keeping to the theme of change, she changed Ruby back to no "E" on the end of her name and changed the spelling of her own name to "GRASE". Mmm Hm. She helps me with everything. Even when I don't want it (I don't usually). Her fits shortened a little each day, each week, until her emotions have became somewhat under control for the first time in her life. And it still surprises me every single time she says, "ok" instead of throwing me one.
She starts kindergarten in a few weeks. I have to say I am more prepared than I was back in May. It might be Lillie's arrival, maybe it's the fact that Ruby is acting completely insane, maybe it's because the universe shifted somehow and is whispering to me that it will be okay. But when she brought her little papers home each day from preschool, she would have a thousand index cards with words and pictures written on them. On at least half of them she wrote, "Momee" or "Dadee Smylie". It really is a small consolation, but if I worried that she didn't think about me while she was at school? She does.