Eleven…and all that comes with it

Eleven years ago I became a mama. It was a crazy time – a total whirlwind that felt like a blur at the time and even more of one looking back on it now.

I had always wanted kids – dreamed of being a mother – and in all of those dreams I had a little girl. So when my first little girl arrived in her dramatic and unexpected way – I was so relieved. This was my literal dream come true.

And having one little girl (and then two!) has been a joy. It has lived up in so many ways to my lofty ideals. It hasn’t been all sunshine and roses of course…but for the goods have far, FAR outweighed the bad.

Now that little girl of mine – the one that first made me a mother – is officially a tween and well on her way to full teenager-hood. And I find myself unprepared.

Not so much for the fact that puberty is on the horizon but for the fact that she is no longer a child. It feels like it happened in an instant.

She gets things now that she didn’t use to. She understands nuances and subtleties in conversation that oh so recently went right over her lovely little blonde head.

Our conversations are much more profound and complex. Her friendships are evolving and changing and emotions are running high.

Boys factor in.

She feels things so deeply and wounds so easily. Her ego is growing faster than I am able to try to temper it.

She is making decisions now that could affect the rest of her life. She is making choices that have much longer reaching implications.

I remember turning eleven. I can remember my school and my house and my friends and my interests. What I don’t remember is feeling any more mature or grown up. I don’t think I even realized that it was a time of great change and evolution for me.

But it was of course. Just like it is for my girl.

And while I am loving the woman that I can see her becoming and feel great pride in the fact that I have helped to mold and shape her…I can’t help but feel like stopping time.

To go back to when she was just a little girl, climbing into my lap with a book, snuggling into me with her lamby and blankie in hand and saying “read to me mummy.”

For now I will just enjoy the fact that she still holds my hand out in public and says “I Love You” in front of her friends at school.

Eight.

17834163_10155023239851221_1485962164627047821_o

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.

Birthday Weekend Fun

It was a whirlwind weekend full of birthday fun…and I am one tired mama after all this excitement.

Saturday morning started out with the birthday girl coming into bed early and innocently asking about “presents?”

I had asked her a few weeks before what she wanted for her big 7th birthday and was totally expecting a request for toys…specifically Shopkins. But no…she surprised me by saying all she wanted was a locket that had a picture of her and her sister in it. (sniff…gulp…how sweet is she?)

When we opened presents she was quite happy to find she had gotten exactly what she asked for:

She wore it with so much pride…I loved it. After a quick breakfast it was off for a day of fun at Wesbrook Village (you can read the post about that here) but these pictures kind of tell the story too:

Then home for more gifts! This time it was a fairy garden from her Nana, Nanny & aunt…

IMG_5366IMG_5372

How cute is that?  The fact that a couple of fairies moved in the next day – closing the door behind them – delighted her to no end.

And then we ended the day with dinner at her choice of restaurant. Hello Cactus Club…

IMG_5375

IMG_5379

After such a long day we were all pretty pooped…and ended it off with a family movie night. The new Star Wars being the unanimous choice.

And that was it…for the actual birthday. The next day it was all about her birthday party. My girl took a great art class at 4 Cats art studio last fall where they worked with clay. And she decided then that she wanted to make clay Shopkins for her birthday. So that’s what we did.

For me – it was the perfect party – an hour of crafts that I didn’t have to do (but the kids loved) and then 45 minutes of pizza & cake and we were done.

Plus…the 10 girls at this party were SO well behaved…I mean really…it was kind of crazy how easy peasy the whole thing was:

t birthday party

Okay…one April birthday in the books. Now to get ready for the next one on Friday.

Phew…is it May yet?