Today my little girl is 7.

It’s really hard to believe that 7 years ago today my life changed forever.

The overwhelming sense of responsibility hit me the moment they placed her in my arms and I began crying.

I knew the way I looked at the world would be different.

I knew that my single, most important job was to do what I can to protect my little girl.

My little girl is a bright, kind and caring child.  She loves “mothering” her friends and her little brother.  She isn’t much of a risk taker, she likes to know what she’s walking into, assess the situation and then join in.  I see her leading at times, following at others.  She loves to pick out her outfits in the morning, even if its plaid, polka-dots and stripes all combined – she feels completely confident in her choice.  She wears no less than 3 pieces of hair decoration a day.  She knows the difference between right and wrong.  She knows how people should be treated.

I can remember the stress of having a newborn and not having a clue sometimes what I was doing.  And, while that type of stress is gone, the stress of being a parent never goes away.  It’s just a different kind.  Different worries.

Worries like:

Growing up to fast.

Getting her feelings hurt.

Not having enough self-confidence.

Her education.  Is she where she needs to be academically?

Getting physically hurt.

Being bullied.

So, I think I’ll start home schooling her, never let her out of the house and wrap her up in bubble wrap.  It will be fine.  Right?  I’m kidding.  Honestly, 99% of the time, I feel like I can manage the worries, but as every birthday comes up it reminds me of how easy those newborn stresses were and how much harder the stresses are going to be.

So, I say to you my sweet girl.  Happy Birthday!

(When can I stop worrying?)