Birthdays make me nostalgic; when it's my kid's birthday, forget about it. The old videos and pictures come out, along with a box of tissues to wipe away the tears that will unavoidably fall when I realize how fast this parenting thing goes. The good news is, as sad as I get thinking of the past, and each old stage, speech impediment, and imaginary friend that goes with it, I'm reminded to slow down and enjoy today's moments I might otherwise miss if I spend too long in the past, or trying to rush into the future. And so, with the realization to enjoy the here and now, I ignored the sink of dirty dishes yesterday, and took Tralee, my birthday girl, out to play at her favorite arcade to celebrate year seven. Instead of rushing through the bedtime routine so I could finally relish in "me time," I snuggled with my seven-year-old, and we talked well past bedtime. She asked questions, and I answered them. I asked questions, and I listened to her response instead of rushing her through her thoughts, so I could do the final tuck and kiss goodnight. This morning, instead of telling her to stop singing, and go get dressed for school so we wouldn't be late, I listened to the words of her made-up song, and giggled at how clever she was. . . and IS right now. Guys, I have a seven year old, and she's pretty awesome. Like, really really really amazing. These last seven years have come and gone way faster than I ever imagined, but I'm so happy I was blessed to share them with my girl.
It's so hard to be around Tralee and NOT fall in love with her. In seven years she's grown into such a fun, creative, clever, imaginative, witty, kind, sensitive, independent, inquisitive kid. She always wants to do what's right, and is hardly ever in trouble (hopefully it will always be this way). She's always asking for ways to help me, or her teacher at school, and sometimes I think I need to take advantage of her willingness to serve a little more. When Tralee hears about someone suffering, she asks to make them a card or to do something nice for them. She has a laugh that's contagious, and a twinkle in her eye that instantly grants her many friends. Tralee asks us many questions, and is so excited to learn. School is LONG for Tralee, and she doesn't always love going, but she always tries her best, and so far she's ahead of the game in reading and math. Her homework goes by fast and easy, and I'm often left wondering if it should challenge her more. She already has a "boy friend" at school that she's pretty sure she will marry. She told me the only problem is they can't decide if they want to live in Wisconsin or Paris after they get married. I told her to go for Paris, and to just be friends for now. Tralee is her little brother, Hunter's, best pal, and although they don't always get along (she has a knack for teasing), she's the first one to the rescue if he gets scared or hurt. It's so sweet to hear her comfort him. I really couldn't ask for a better seven-year-old, and I'm so grateful that she's mine! I will enjoy this next year with her to the fullest!
Happy Seventh Birthday Stinks!