See that picture? It is from August 26, 2006. Almost exactly 5 years ago.
Today she is barely recognizable as my round little baby.
It's not just that she has adorable freckles sprinkled across her nose, or that she has more words than even she can count; LP is so much more of a wonderful, independent person than I could have ever imagined having a hand in creating.
She is sensitive and nurturing. A born caregiver she watches out for her friends, helping to settle disputes and negotiate happy outcomes. She loves and takes care of her little sister. She has an amazing ability to read people and know what they need - almost basking in making other people smile.
LP is so excited to go to kindergarten. When I ask her about riding the bus and making new friends, she has no fear. Just optimism and excitement at the prospect.
I am confident in her ability to interact and build relationships. Scared at the prospect of her building a life I have no control over. Sure I pack her lunch, help her pick out her clothes...but I don't walk her to the classroom door. Or talk to her teacher every day. Or gossip with her friends' parents to figure out exactly what happened in the classroom that day.
I feel like I am entering a whole new phase of motherhood. I feel as unprepared for this as LP says she is prepared.