Eight.

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Today my baby girl turned 8. I can’t believe how fast time has flown.

Raising kids is scary. It’s so easy to mess them up. So easy to let them down.

So far everything about her tells me that I must be doing something right because she is without a doubt the sweetest, kindest, gentlest soul in my world.

Her joy and laughter is infectious and her love of life is inspiring. She is fierce and strong and I can’t wait to see where she goes in life. And what she will teach the world.

I will always be here to stand behind and walk beside you. And I promise to never, ever hold you back.

Enjoying the Cuddles

We are approaching what I consider to be two pretty big milestone birthdays for my girls next month – 10 and 7.

10 is big for the obvious reason that it is double digits – how can I possibly have a child that is in the double digits?! 7 is just an age that feels so much older than 6. I wrote about this feeling before when my oldest child turned 7…but that is only exacerbated with my baby about to hit that milestone as well.

Every milestone with her is more significant. Maybe this is how the younger child gets to make up emotional ground on their older siblings. True the first time you experience a big moment with your first child – lost tooth, first haircut, starting kindergarten, etc – it is emotional. But when its the last time – last first tooth, last first steps, last first day of school – it is bittersweet and for me…really cuts to my core.

My girls are different in as many ways as they are the same. And one of the things I love the most about both of them is that they love to cuddle with their mummy. But with my oldest the moments are fewer and far between. Not so with my little one. Oh how she loves to cuddle…

And she especially knows when I need her the most. When I’m feeling down or exhausted or spread to thin. When I’m emotional and needy…she will always take that opportunity to crawl into my lap and share her warmth and her love. And it is a wonderful thing…

 

Graduation Day – Kindergarten Edition

I’ve said before that milestone moments hit me a little harder as my youngest daughter passes them. Because I know this is the last time I will experience them.

When she started kindergarten I got pretty choked up. When she learned to ride a bike without training wheels I felt a little more emotional than I thought I should.

And so when I got the invitation to her Kindergarten Grad I knew I should bring some tissues.

I was also amazed at how fast this year has flown by. The past few years have been so difficult and so filled up with ups and downs it feels like I actually missed being present in much of it.

I am glad for the photos I take to remind me of these important milestones. Because while I have vowed to be more present in the moment…sometimes my mind refuses to join me there.

Luckily on Graduation Day…I was fully present. Sitting proudly in my hard plastic chair in the front row of the kindergarten room watching my girl mark the passing of her first full year in school. Singing loudly along with her fellow classmates. Grinning all the way to accept her “graduation” certificate.

She was her beautiful, sunny, smiling self and I couldn’t have been prouder.

We were so lucky to have the same amazing teacher for both of our girls!

Congratulations my little T. I love you more than words can say. And I can’t wait to see the journey you take.

A Star is Born

Today was the day my oldest had been waiting for ages. After months of practices and rehearsals she was ready to perform the lead in her school musical.

And she was incredible in her role as the Elephant’s Child in Rudyard Kipling’s short story of how the young elephant with such ‘satiable curiosity wound up being the reason that they have trunks…

It was an indescribable feeling watching her up on that stage reciting her lines and singing her solo.

I was terrified and proud and happy and tense and nostalgic and sad and happy all at the same time.

Mostly though…if I’m honest…I was in awe. That my firstborn daughter who came into this world so very tiny and helpless had become such an incredibly confident and talented girl. 

A few times I saw just the smallest sign that her confidence had faltered. They were quick little changes on her face that were so minute I like to think that only her mother could spot them.

She looked up briefly each time and caught my eye. I smiled at her and gave her an encouraging nod and she recovered just as quickly as she had faltered.

And at the end of it all she took her well deserved bow to a chorus of whoops and whistles from all of my crazy family in the audience.

And when she looked up she beamed broadly at me and I knew she had found her calling. I see many front row seats in our future.

Well done my dear daughter. I am so very very proud of you.

Six

Today my littlest girl turned 6.

And I swear she grew 2 inches over night. I really need to find a giant brick to put on her head.

I love her to pieces…even when she’s giving me grief. She is funny and loving and sweet and tender and crazy all rolled into a ball of energy.

I wouldn’t change a single thing about my little T. She brings light and joy to my life and I am so very happy to be her mama.

We celebrated the occasion with dinner at the Cactus Club. It was her choice. She wanted to “dress up and go somewhere fancy.”

 We took a few silly selfies while waiting for dessert…

How did I ever wonder if my heart would be big enough to love her as much as her big sister? 

One Kid, Two Wheels

My youngest is so stubborn. Whenever there is an opportunity for her to be in control – no matter how small the matter – she takes it and runs with it.

During swimming lessons she flatly refuses to put her face in the water with her instructor. But will happily do it for us 5 minutes after lessons have ended. Grrr…

Bike riding? She loved it with her training wheels. As soon as they came off last summer…she refused to get back on and even attempt it.

There are benefits to kids getting older. Their drive to keep up with the other kids is greater than their determination to rebel.

And that is why – after just a few sunny days of practicing – we have liftoff…

The world is her oyster now…what have we done?