Exactly six years ago today, I waddled through the front door of the hospital as if I was about to be executed (in fact, to this day my mom still laughs about how I was “dead man walking” that morning). My first child was due four days earlier and I had been four centimeters dilated for a little longer than my doctors would have liked. They decided to induce me, although I would have been more than fine with letting her hang out in there for as long as she wanted if it meant I didn’t have to face childbirth.

As I stepped into the elevator to go up to labor and delivery part of me wanted to run–or at least walk briskly–as far away as I could. I was absolutely petrified, with visions of screaming movie moms dancing through my head. And as if that wasn’t scary enough, there was the whole notion of being responsible for another human being’s life. For nurturing her and guiding her through life and raising her to be her best self. I felt so heavy and so scared. And don’t even get me started on the look on Tim’s face!

Three hours later, after a miraculously simple labor and delivery, my little rosebud was placed on my chest. She promptly pooped on me and I fell in love. One glance into her big eyes and my husband and I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is such a thing as love at first sight.

Fast forward six years. SIX YEARS. Not only is today my best buddy’s birthday, but it’s her last day of kindergarten. I am a big, emotional mess. The kind of mess that bursts into tears after hearing all of the kids scream “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!” when she stepped onto the bus. How did so much time go by so quickly? How did she get so big?

Samantha is one of the sweetest, most caring people I know. She has a flair for drama (but you have to love her for it) and acts as if she’s 16 instead of 6. She’s funny and she’s smart and I just love that girl to pieces.

Instead of continuing and becoming a big, blubbering mess, I’m going to share some pictures of my sweet petunia…

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.