Dear Eva: 7 Years

Dear Eva,

Happy 7th Birthday, my sweet girl.  Like every other milestone in my children’s lives, another birthday has snuck up on me, making me feel the impact of how fast the days go by.  You were just a month or so shy of your third birthday when your dad and I became friends, so to watch you grow from that chubby little cherub faced babe into a beautiful young lady has been an honor.

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I always try to use these posts to describe where you all are in this stage of life, but it’s a little more difficult when it comes to you.  You are a very complex human being, which should be no surprise, because you’re a woman.  I’ve probably learned more about being a mother from you than from any of your siblings, because your complexity has taught me how to navigate the delicate balance between the challenging aspects of your personality and your gifts and talents.  Why?  Because they are one in the same. You are immovable, which makes disciplining you difficult, but I’ll be damned if anyone will ever be able to get you to back down from something you believe in.  When it comes to peer pressure, you are not the child I worry about in that regard.

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We recently returned from a family trip to Disney World – your first time there.  Yours was my favorite kid face to watch during that whole week, because it was lit up like a Christmas tree the entire time. It was inspiring to watch you challenge yourself on some of those rides.  Barely tall enough to even ride, you had no idea what to expect, and yet you rode them with abandon.  At the end of the rides, you’d squeal with delight and beg to do it again.  Seeing the unadulterated joy plastered on your sweet face was like medicine to my soul.

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I know sometimes you feel as though you can’t find where you fit in this world.  You’re the oldest girl in our blended family, and you straddle between two different homes, which can’t be easy on anyone, let alone a 7 year-old.  But let me tell you something, little girl – you are irreplaceable.  You remind me that order and structure is good and necessary, which doesn’t come easy to this free-spirited mama.  You remind me that sometimes, you just need to stop what you’re doing and paint your toenails.  Thank you, Eva, for reminding me that even when I don’t feel big enough, or experienced enough, or that this world may seem a little scary sometimes, that I need to get on the ride anyway.

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I love you, baby.  Happy Birthday.

-KK

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