Monday, October 1, 2012

Reflections on Claire's 8th Birthday ....

Sometimes milestones sneak up on you and take you by surprise.  Or... you know it's coming but just don't anticipate the response your heart will have.  This birthday was like that for me.  It's leaving me just a little bit breathless.

Number 3 has turned 8.

I don't know why I am surprised.  8 does come after 7.  It did with Emma ... and Grayson too.  My engineer husband tells me that it will continue the trend with Cooper too.  The sarcasm changes nothing.  I am still a little ... bereft. 

Up until now, there were a few little straggler skills that she hadn't mastered yet.  Some things to look forward to as she "grows up."  While that would have wreaked total havoc on my psyche with my first child (who am I kidding.... with my second one too), those little missing links gave me some comfort.  This child wasn't growing up so fast.  I had more time.  Whew.

Until this whirlwind of development swept in and blew in an entirely different girl.  One that not only rides a bike, but does so with no hands.   One that not only has opinions but can negotiate as well.  One that not only made new friends and put hereself out there ... but one that REQUESTS to join new activities.

Where is my former shy, reserved, timid middle child?  She's still there at night ... when I tuck her in.  She still shares some worries and fears in the dark or in the quiet.  In those moments, I am happy to see her again.  But in the morning, here comes her alter ego up the stairs, ready to take on the world.  In those moments, I am happy to see her too.

An eight year old is emerging.  A more confident, grown up girl coming into her own.  We talked about that today a bit as we put away the bows and replaced them with barrettes (GULP).  I told her I was proud of her ... who she was ... who she is ...and who she is becoming.  I remarked on how quickly time flies by.    I reminded her of all of the huge steps she has taken in the past year.  She reminded me she is the only one in her class that hasn't lost a tooth.  So, according to her,  "she isn't completely grown up yet."   Thank goodness for those little milestones that just haven't been reached yet.  Thank goodness for birthday dinners at Steak and Shake.  Thank goodness for eight year old daughters.

Happy Birthday Claire!