Today has been a long day. A loooooong day. Any day spent in utter servitude to another human is bound to be a little exhausting...but this one was pretty wonderful as well.
Rachael woke me up at about 7:45 this morning, which might not sound so early to some people, but anything before 8 just isn't my speed. Still, I obligingly rolled out of bed and down the stairs to ooh and aah over the new fish bowl on the table, decorated with shiny pink and white rocks and home to a pretty little black and bluey-purple betta. Rachael tossed around a few names for her new pet - Swimmy? Teresa? - before finally settling on Daisy.
My girls helped me make breakfast - pancakes made with real cake mix and a liberal dose of sprinkles, topped with a sweet glaze containing even more sprinkles. (This was totally not my idea - I saw them here and couldn't resist.) They turned out great, and there were even plenty of leftovers for Daddy.
After breakfast, we spent a leisurely morning together doing not much of anything. Around 11, we headed into town to pick up our troop's Girl Scout cookies - which wouldn't all fit in my van, necessitating a second trip to pick up the rest, and Rachael's deciding to skip her Thursday art class in favor of a less rushed afternoon.
Then it was off to Gramma's house, for spoiling, gifts, and cake. Then back home to unwrap her big gift (a pink Nintendo DS!), pick up Daddy, and out to dinner at the place of Rachael's choosing. Anywhere at all, baby - dream big, live it up! And so we ate at McDonald's.
We came back home and Milly asked to put the candle on her sister's cake. Rachael made a wish and blew it out at 7:33 p.m. - the very minute that she turned seven years old.
Every one of her birthdays are bittersweet. On one hand, I celebrate the anniversary of the day that my life changed forever - the day that I became more than just myself, more than just a wife and a daughter and a friend, but someone's mother. Is there a more wonderful title that one can possess? A more noble calling that one can aspire to? An undertaking more utterly terrifying?
And on the other hand, every one of her birthdays reminds me of how quickly she's growing up. SEVEN. Wow. She's definitely not a baby any more. She can do so many things independently. She doesn't rely on me for much of anything, actually. If I suddenly decided to stop cooking, oh well...she can make a sandwich and use the microwave and open containers. No further assistance is needed in matters of personal hygiene - she's even overcome her fear-slash-hatred of the shower and can wash her own wonderfully/painfully long hair. Heck, she can even take her little sister in the shower and bathe her at the same time. She dresses herself and has recently become very modest while changing as well. She can turn on the TV and find a favorite show to watch, or sit down at the computer and Google anything she wants to know (thank goodness for parental controls!) She can read very nearly anything. Use the phone. Clean her room. Train the dog. Sing along to the radio. Wash the dishes.
She's only seven years old, and I'm becoming obsolete.
Oh, I know...I have years left before she's an adult, and so much more to teach her, so many more adventures ahead. But one can hardly help noticing that she's not going to be a cuddly little girl for much longer.
It's unfair, really, that these precious years when the children are small seem to fly by so much faster than others. Couldn't I have fast-forwarded through the awkward big-hair and braces middle-school years instead? I'd have happily sacrificed every one of those for more time to keep my babies...babies.
So, now I'm mother to a seven-year-old. Thank goodness that nothing has changed but the number. She's still the sweetest child (except to her sister), sensitive and thoughtful and beautiful and such a blessing to me. As many tears as I've cried over this silly emotional-mama birthday post, I'm so proud of the young lady she's becoming. She just has the sweetest little heart of any child I've known...God has His hand on her for sure. I can't wait to see what He has in store for her later on.
Only I can. Wait, that is. I'm interested, but in no big rush.
Happy birthday, baby. I love you to the moon and back.