This One’s a Game Changer
I don't know why this birthday feels so different from the rest. But it does. Perhaps its the fact that she's in first grade now. Perhaps its just that seven sounds so old. Perhaps that she's finally "getting" reading or that she's excelling in math. Perhaps I never imagined her at this age... as an infant, toddler, preschooler, a kindergartener was easy, I never pictured the schoolgirl. Perhaps its that parenting has gotten infinitely more complex. I used to have all the answers, it was so very black and white. And now there's gray, and varying shades of gray at that. That's another post for another day.
Regardless, I'm not the only one feeling the difference this birthday. Jon showed up after plowing all night with flowers for the birthday girl. I was floored, overwhelmed that my husband did this of his own effort. And when I pushed him on the why, he responded that first grade seems like a good time to start this tradition. He wants to be the first man to give his daughters flowers. (Yes, my heart melted into a puddle on the floor and I fell madly in love with my man again.)
It touched my girl, in a way that only other females will understand. She giggled and twirled, and helped put them in water. The fact that she gave him a sticker, proclaiming him the world's best dad, speaks for itself.
She and I headed out for a lunch date. Just the two of us. She beamed when I told her no siblings were coming with us. And as enjoyed our Olive Garden salad and breadsticks, I was once again awed by how much I enjoy being with her. Not because I have to or because she’s mine, but because of who she is. She makes me laugh, she makes me think, and she makes me want to be a better person.
Let me tell more about this girl we’re celebrating today…
- When asked what she wanted for her birthday, she brought up these Hearts4Hearts dolls. Her reason for wanting these particular dolls? Because a portion of the proceeds go to “help other girls in those countries.” Her words, not mine.
- She and I have theological discussions often, and she GETS it. The girl understands more than I was ever able to comprehend at her age. Heck, she knows more than I did in my early teens.
- As she and I discussed what she was looking forward to the most on her birthday, she replied that she couldn’t wait to open gifts. And after a brief pause, leaned forward, “Mama, if I get a new coat, can we give it away to someone else who needs it more?” (Verbatim.)
- Her favorite excuse for doing something she knows she’s not supposed to do? “I’m sorry. I just forgot for a minute.” Right.
- She loves numbers so much that she pulls out her math homework as soon as she gets home on Friday afternoons. And we play calculation/calculator games in the car.
- She is sensitive and silly… loving… a dancing fool… wise beyond her years… compassionate and giving… sweet… dramatic (to a fault)… selfless… and beautiful, inside and out.
Baby girl, seven years ago, you came into our lives and turned it upside down. You are still taking my breath away with your thoughtfulness, your insights, and your selflessness. It is an absolute honor to be your mother. Hope your birthday is as special as you are!