It is true. The baby who made me a mama turned eight yesterday.
Birthday flowers from her biggest fan, her sister
There is so much about her that remains the same as she was the day she was born, eleven days early and beyond ready to join us during one of the hottest months of that year. She spiraled out into her papa's arms, her own arms outstretched and wailing. She has not slowed down for much since that day, happiest when she can turn her love beams on you or throw you down for some serious wrestling. She is a bit like a large and lovable dog, the one who hears you say, all right now, down girl, but can't believe you don't need MORE! wiggle wiggle, wag...She will blossom under your attention and is quick to forgive, wanting to be in synch...
Making birthday brownies
At eight there is so much she can do; I love how capable eight year olds are. When she decides to adopt that air of responsibility she is so trustworthy and focused, sure of herself, and clear in judgement.
I have high hopes for eight. Eliza is the one people are speaking about when they say that your child is your greatest teacher. I have so much to learn from my relationship with her; it is so often like holding a mirror up to my deepest self, all the temper and huge unchecked emotions, the longing for connection and the need to belong. I wish I had begun years earlier to work to understand the way my own brain and heart work, that I could better guide her, but instead we are working hard to do this together. Or not always together, but side-by-side. It is a huge challenge and a huge gift to have this opportunity for change and growth and connection.
I have many wishes for you, my dearest girl. I wish that you find a quiet place in your soul that fills you with peace. I wish that you discover your power to affect the emotional climate of your world and use the power for good! I wish that you continue to find the world a beautiful and welcoming place, full of love and people who find you as funny as I do (the grandmothers for whom you are named would never cease laughing with you and your gift for humor). I wish that you continue to find a place in your dreams for magic and wonder. I wish that you feel the freedom to discover your strengths and interests and delight in whatever they are, sharing them with us and making our lives richer. I wish for you the deep certainty that you are loved to your core for exactly who you are.
Happy Birthday, Eliza, we love you!
:: :: :: ::
It seems appropriate that Mother's Day often falls on Anika's birthday, and Father's Day often shares Eliza's birthday. Fitting that they should be so closely linked, don't you think? But alas, it also means that the parent often gets a bit overlooked...but it's not for lack of love.
Eliza and Dan exchange gifts -
for her a date to stroll uptown and pick out a new hat;
for him, a hand-sewn "amulet" filled with lavender,
to help him stay calm while he works so hard...
We love you Dan!