This birthday post is late too. A week late. To be fair, I’m at least consistently late on both birthday posts, which means I’m fair to both girls. See. It works.
I’ve been combing through thousands of pictures I’ve taken over the course of my daughters’ lives. I have one thing repeating in my mind, “be still my ovaries.”
Last night I had a dream I was happily breast-feeding my third child. When I told my husband, he started panicking. Then he said, it was only because I’ve been obsessed with all their baby pictures. I think he was trying to convince himself that my dream was just a suggestive thing, not that I’m, you know, foreseeing the future.
On Friday of last week, Sept. 27, my youngest turned seven. SEVEN! I still call her my little one, and my baby. She still prefers me over everyone, and demands we snuggle a few a times a day. I love how consistent she is.
As she’s the youngest in our family, I’ve always been impressed with, and amazed by her powerful, and astute observations of family dynamics. I remember holding my baby on my hip and watching noticing her careful eyes as she watched how we interacted with each other. She loved sitting on my hip as I cooked, and as soon as she was able to stand on a step stool, always, and still does, beg me to let her help.
My little one is incredibly bright, but she sometimes avoids things, as she’s worried about mistakes. So we’ve been working on reinforcing that mistakes are awesome, they teach us.
This year she’s discovered she loves to read on her own. It makes me so happy to hear she wants to stay up to read. YES! This is our first year in soccer too, and she’s a tough little one. This year she also expressed how much she wants to be in band when she’s in fourth grade, in another two years. The instrument she’s dying to play? The drums. Of course it’s drums. This child is a little rocker.
She always amazes me with how she can see beyond the meanings of things. We’ll read a book, and I’ll ask some probing questions, that require understanding of characters, plot, and she is so quick to comprehend the stories, and what she reads. She may not have a photographic memory, but she understands the things she’s read.
I also get a kick out of her need to clean anything, but her room, when she is angry. She’s always so good at identifying her feelings. I remember when she was a wee one, she’d scrunch her face up tight, and exclaim, “I’m angry” which made me laugh each time. It impressed me how in tune she was with her emotions. Sometimes I’m not sure what I’m feeling, and I wish I had the ability to identify quickly, like she does.
As a baby, she was a bit of a fireball. My sister says how hard it was for everyone else who wished to hold little Miss Spitfire. She’d cry whenever anyone other than myself held her. If I didn’t happen to be in the room, than daddy would be the next best solution.
My darling little one is still a ball of fire. Her whining default towards homework is my kryptonite. Oh my goodness, I recently watched a video of her when she was less than two years old, and she was reacting exactly like she does now when it’s homework time. I laughed. The truth is, these brilliant spirits come to us with their own personalities, their own behavior, and we can only do so much in terms of guiding, and focusing their power for good.
Prayer is a big part of my daughter’s life. She impresses me with her faith. She tells me how if she’s nervous for a test, or worried about something at school, she prays. When I’ve volunteered in class, and there’s something she’s concerned about, and I’m still there, she pulls me aside to pray. So while I do worry about her natural tendency to care about what other people think of her, I’m grateful that she has grasped onto faith in her youth. Yes, I’m working on helping her realize it’s her opinion that matters, not anyone else’s ideas.
My dear little one,
You are so smart, and creative, and musical. Your little giggle charms everyone. Sometimes it can be hard being the youngest sister, with so many people bossing you around. Know that we are so grateful you are in our family. We love how thoughtful you are, and how hard you work.
You make us happy. You make us laugh. You make us do fun things, and make us take time to do nothing at all but cuddle. I love our talks as we cuddle. I love hearing about your day, and what you think, what you learned, and what you’re excited about. I love comforting you when you’re sad, and when your scared. I’m so glad you tell me things, even when you think you might get in trouble. I hope you realize you can always, always come to us. Mommy and daddy won’t ever stop loving you, ever.
I love being your mommy. I love you so much my dear. Thank you for calling me out when you think I’m being mean, and making mistakes. I need you.
We need you, in our family, forever. Always remember that. Thank you for loving us.
I love you!
ps. Thanks for always giving great fashion advice when I’m deciding what to wear. Also, one day I’m going to record your homework face, and share it, so watch out. Muahahah. (I’m kidding…sort of)