A three day twelfth birthday extravaganza has nearly done me in. Deer caught in the headlights is a relevant idiom. I’ll need some downtime. But as Gretchin Rubin has written, the days are long, but the years are short. Make the memories live large.
Madelyn and I planned the details for weeks. We printed a play from Louisa May Alcott’s book Little Women.
Without sharing the theme with Hannah, we watched the 1990s flick the night before for movie night, paying attention to details. Then I discovered the significance of the theme. At twelve, our Hannah is growing up, becoming a little woman. Particular quotes popped…I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship. Or, I’ve got the key to my castle in the air, but whether I unlock the door remains to be seen. I know my twelve year old self would have appreciated: You don’t need scores of suitors. You need only one, if he’s the right one. And a lesson I’m learning right now: Don’t try to make me grow up before my time.
If I’d only understood when it all began twelve years ago that childhood is a journey, not a race, I might not have been so quick to forge my way through the sleepless night stage, the tantrum twos (or threes, or fours), the sassy fives… But how was I to learn the important things of life without the lessons children teach? I am learning, slower than I’d like.
It’s Monday morning, the party weekend is over. So I have counters of dishes to put away, loads of laundry to start, studies to start, and mangled gift wrap to pick off the floor. I think I’ll get my morning coffee and cuddle close with whoever is awake.