Some fret over each passing year. For some, each birthday, most especially those "milestone" ones like 25, or 30, or 50, is met more with mourning than with celebration. I've never really had that problem. (At least so far.)
But, like many a parent, every time one of the kiddo's has a birthday, it feels somewhat like a punch in the gut. Of course, on the outside, it's fun and celebration mode. But there's that voice in the brain saying, "How did this happen?!! How can another year have flown by with such speed?!!" And it's not that you don't want your children to grow and flourish. It's not that you don't want them to become happily more independent. It's not that you don't want to be witness to the incredible changes they go through. It's not that you don't want to see each amazing, unique little person mature while hanging onto that amazing, unique personality that makes them so special.
But it would be a boldface lie if I were to say that each of their birthdays doesn't make me a bit sad as well. For every wondrous "new" phase in their lives means saying goodbye to the "old" phase. And with every year that passes, they need me just a little bit less...and yes, I admit it, I like being needed. Every day that goes by is one day closer to the day they walk out the door to grasp that life that will have little to do with me. Yes, I know full-well how selfish I sound. And I would never in a million years want to do anything to hold Annie, or Gray, or Max, back from following their dreams. Honest.
Still, in private, I needed to shed a few tears today. For somehow, twelve years ago this beautiful little being showed her sweet face to us for the first time...and in a flash, she's now this beautiful young lady. She's nearly as tall as I am. She's taking college classes. She's loaded with dreams for her future.
Okay, enough of my pout-fest.
Annie today, as she turns twelve:
Interview answers by Annie.
(Followed by commentary by me.)
Choice for birthday breakfast: chocolate dipped strawberries and mini glazed donuts with sprinkles
(She's throwing caution to the wind today. :) In general, she's very conscious of eating healthy.)
Favorite foods: pizza salad, mozzarella sticks, chocolate dipped strawberries, blueberries, raspberries
(She's been a vegetarian since the age of six.)
Present most wanted for birthday: mini laptop
(Despite it costing waaaaaay more than we would normally spend on a birthday, we did come through for her. She works so hard and it really will be useful for school...so we caved.)
Best friend: Cece.
(The giggle sisters.)
Favorite books: Warriors series. His Dark Materials. LOTR. Harry Potter series. Twilight saga.
Favorite ways to spend free time: Reading. Hanging out with friends. Playing outside. Writing. Hanging with the animals.
(By "the animals" she meant the cats and dog, but she does love hanging with her brothers, too.)
Favorite school "subjects": Writing. Science. History. Literature.
(Anything but math.)
Looking forward to during the coming year: Meeting new people. Visiting new places through books, and in real life. The Children's Literature course I'm taking at MCC this fall. The Read-a-thon.
For supper tonight: The China Buffet or Friendlys.
Current career goals: Infectious disease specialist for the CDC. Prosecutor for the International Criminal Court. Veterinarian. Author.
(A girl's gotta keep her options open, right?)
Would most like to visit: Alaska. The Bahamas. Spain. Japan. Mars.
(And any thrift store she can find.)