January 9, 2013 by themommahen
This is what almost seven looks like.
And this is what seven looks like.
At 6:30 am.
Seven also looks like this.
Surrounded by your classmates at lunch.
(I wish you could hear what that sounded like. Ai yai yai. I don’t know how teachers do it.)
I found myself at a loss of how to do my sweet, sweet, Hatchling #1 justice in a birthday blog post. And then I saw her this morning, stopping midway down the stairs when she saw the balloons and banner in celebration of her birthday, mildly embarrassed while also giddily pleased. How she let H#2 play with her birthday balloon. And then H#3, which is really like letting all hope go that you may get whatever it is back from him intact.
I watched her trek out the door to school without complaint, laden with backpack, lunch bag, jacket (that she won’t wear unless the teachers make her because she’s “from Chicago”) and her latest Calvin & Hobbes book, because that’s what she’s supposed to do even though she really wanted to stay home and “take a day off” to enjoy her birthday.
I watched her deftly and graciously accept her friends’ and teachers’ birthday greetings as she walked into school.
As she stood in the front in the place of honor as they recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
Then there was lunch, and the priceless look on her face when she saw her two brothers and me there, with her favorite lunch from Big M, as we all call it because that’s what she called it years ago before she even knew what McDonald’s or the golden arches even were. (Don’t judge.)
I asked her if she wanted to sit with her brothers (they wanted her to sit between them) or with her friends, and after a moment’s pause, sat between the Hatchlings even though I told her she didn’t have to.
She helped H#3 with his milk, shared her orange with H#2 and let everyone pass around her Happy Meal toy, and was unphased when it came back to her covered in ketchup and sticky goo. She just calmly wiped it off. And then passed it around again.
Her birth story was dramatic. Her life the way she lives it, if only in her seven years, is less so. Except in sporadic bursts. I’m sure there will be drama to come. But for now, she’s rock-steady, dependable, caring and so many more wonderful and wondrous things. An artist, a voracious reader, a cuddler, a protector, an animal lover, a pragmatist. The one who reminds me that in order to keep all these memories forever, all you have to do is use your mind like a camera. Just blink your eyes, and say click.
Happy Birthday, sweet girl. I love you more than all the grains of sand on the beach, the salt in the oceans and the stars in the sky.