Sunday, May 23, 2010

Angels Among Us

I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free. ~ Michelangelo

Today is my baby's 9th birthday.   Matter of fact, as I look at the clock, she was born 9 years and 23 minutes ago and in 10 minutes, I'll be rolled into surgery to stop the bleeding.  The things I do...

We (OK...mostly me, but with agreement) decided to forgo a party this year.  This has been a particularly difficult year, for both of us.  We've both lost close friends and have struggled to find our way.  I think I'm there.  She's still struggling.  So the thought of inviting 8-10 9 year-olds to celebrate her birthday, given how most have treated* her this past year, I was having a difficult time swallowingI suggested an alternative that was readily (to my surprise) accepted.  We spent yesterday having lunch (her choice...Chipotle), and shopping.  The shopping went better than I expected.  We were after accessories for her bedroom because, as part of her gift, I am finally going to repaint her bedroom.   I have been promising for about 6 months but wanted to see her make a valiant effort at keeping her room clean if I was going to put out the effort.  And I removed those restrictions, so I'll be painting next week.

Along with wall art and a few accessories, we also purchased her "fun" gifts...Zhu-zhu pets and accessories.  Something I have to remember,  she is not only "the baby"  but she is, for all practical purposes, still  a baby.  With older siblings, I expect way too much for her and sometimes forget to let her be 9.  The rodent like pets I can deal with (because let's face it...they're not real).

So, my darling baby, you know that you frequently make me crazy.  Of this I have no doubt.  But as I walked past your warm sleeping body on the floor at the foot of my bed (one of the reasons you make me crazy), I can't help but think of all the things that make me wish I could keep you my baby forever:  the "I love you" you say at the end of EVERY phone call to me, the waking up and coming and climbing on my lap first thing in the morning,  the willingness to put on a dress and be all girly paired equally with throwing on a pair of jean shorts and a tank top and digging in the dirt for bugs/worms, the way you are like your father's shadow, wanting to be part of everything he does,  the listening intently you do each night when he reads you a fable and really trying to get the meaning from it (if not necessarily putting said moral into practice), the not leaving my car for school each weekday morning without a good-by kiss no matter my mood (and that kiss ALWAYS lightens it), and the insisting, at 9, that I tuck you in each and every night.

Happy Birthday my angel.

*treated- I have no illusions about my children and know that they can be just as culpable as the next kid.  I'm probably a bit more sensitive to this today as Friday I happened to be at school and had to attempt to stem her tears with girls being mean to her.  She will always be like me in this aspect...taking things way too personally and letting her feelings get hurt.  And at 9, I don't think I'm ready for a jaded child, so I teach her to deal with the hurt in a positive way.

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