When Abby celebrated her first birthday, I anticipated with great alarm that birthdays would keep coming. It had felt like so much happened that first year, I could hardly fathom that these annual celebrations would happen at a seemingly increased speed. But they do. It felt like far less than a year ago we celebrated her sixth birthday and now here we are, a whole 12 months later, and I am just as surprised as I projected.
Seven is different. Seven feels like a road marker, a diverted path. Whereas she was a baby, a little girl, learning her ABCs and how to run and climb, now she is doing a lot of her growth internally. Managing newer, bigger emotions. Watching the world around her grow a little bigger as she learns more about it. Answering questions that don't have a clear answer.
I am letting go, a little bit. I have to. She is becoming so much more herself and I know if I stand in the way, it will be to her detriment. So I let her make mistakes and learn the hard way, though it is often difficult to watch. She is so, so smart. She is learning to navigate the difference between her feelings, instincts and reactions. She is placing herself in her family, school and community. She is a wonderful big sister.
She celebrated her birthday with a Paw-Patrol themed party, (complete with her very own police dog). She did all the party planning, prepared the 'loop' bag with homemade cookies, baked her own cupcakes and organized activities. She shared many of her gifts and had to be convinced to save some special things for herself!
She was loved by people near and far, and was genuinely appreciative of phone calls, cards and gifts from people who really love her. I think she was surprised, actually, by how many people got in touch with her and offered gifts. That she was surprised and touched makes me feel so proud of her. Not an ounce of entitlement or selfishness.
Today is a slow day, cleaning up from celebrations, preparing for the week ahead. I am so in love with my girl. I wish she knew how much I learn from being her mama.