You are too tiny and little to be 7. What happened to my little girl?
I'm sorry. I always do this. It's milestones like birthdays that suddenly show me how quickly the individual days are passing me by and how quickly childhood, which seems to take forever when you are lost in the blur of the day to day effort that it takes to care for children, flies past us, like the view of the ground out the window of a jet plane.
So this year, you moved to Thailand. That was hard. You are finally adjusting to being here and making plans for the future in Thailand, rather than constantly talking about what you are going to do when you get back to America. You have friends here now, and things you like to do, and places you like to play.
You are still very young in the way you understand things like time. And delayed gratification is not your forte. You understand very well that something comes after something else. But you think you can speed along the thing you want by making all the things in front of it go more quickly. If I tell you that you can do something fun after school and lunch, you will start doing your school work at 7 am, make your lunch and eat it at 10am, and then cry bitter tears of grief when I still make you wait until everyone else has eaten their lunch at noon. I have learned to be more specific. And to tell you times on the clock, rather than times in the schedule like I used to.
Your baby brother is one of your favorite things. He is so cute. You can't stop looking at him. You want to play and snuggle with him even when he is content just sitting and looking at a toy. Sometimes he doesn't like your attention. But you are such a lovely little mother, the first to run to him when he cries, the most diligent to try and keep him happy. You are a little mother to all the little babies and toddlers that you see. Taking care of people and nurturing is just in you and part of who you are.
You love to cook. Your favorite gifts are recipe books, and cooking equipment. (This is probably due, in part, to the fact that you are constantly hungry and I get tired of cooking for you so taught you to help.) Play kitchen things are also really, really fun because you can do that anytime, not just when mommy says that you can make real food. You discovered you like the meatballs they make up in the village, with lemon grass.
|Tasting the food at Lahu New Year|
|You even tasted fried bamboo worms.|
You watch how people cook and then try it at home. Sometimes you think you know how something is made just from looking at it, and you will go back to the kitchen and try it. Often it doesn't turn out as you had hoped, but you are learning by trial and error and one day you will be a fantastic cook of everything. You discovered the food network at your Beema's house, just before we left the US this spring, and for 2 whole weeks you were in a frenzy of learning and making and big,big ideas in the kitchen.
I love the way you get an image in your mind of an event, or a dish, or a place, and then you work tirelessly to realize that vision. You can see it, and then you make it happen. Your arrangements are always so artistic and beautiful. (You care little, at this point, for the parts that aren't visible, or the process. So it doesn't matter to you if you shove everything under the bed, as long as the room looks pretty. But I'm confident that will come in time.)
Sometimes your vision of what will be, and the reality that you are able to execute, don't line up, like when you are drawing something and can't quite make it look as you want. Those are such frustrating times for you. When you get frustrated you yell and cry and sometimes throw pencils and then huddle in a ball under a blanket.
This year I pray for you to be better able to deal with disappointment, to adapt, to find a way around or through, rather than getting upset so quickly when facing obstacles. I pray for you to be able to pause, and listen, and try to understand, before getting upset.
You are our resident hot head, passionate, affectionate, and quick to every single emotion, the entire spectrum of emotions in 5 minutes or less.
It's going to be a bit of a wild ride, you trying to get your grip on those powerful bits of information.
But remember, one day you will understand that they are just information, and don't usually tell the whole story. That day you will gain a lot more perspective than you have now. I just hope and pray it happens before you become a teenager or we may be in for a bit of drama.
I love you. I love the kindness that motivates you to rub my neck, or bring a sibling a cup of water, or to work hard to clean up the house just to do something helpful for me. I love the sympathy with which you feel others sadness and try to help and make it better. I'm in awe of your energy and efficiency when you set out to do something. I love how silly you can be, and your little giggle when you're tickled, and the way you still dance in anticipation of something good. Seven is going to be a year of new things, and saying goodbye to some old things as well. It's going to be good.
I'm glad I get to be your mama.
****This is, of course, a month late. I'm no good at throwing parties, baking cakes, making birthday dinners, for you and your sister, doing advent and Christmas AND getting a birthday post up all at the same time.