a day in the life...

my little women, and little man

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.

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Madelyn and I planned the details for weeks. We printed a play from Louisa May Alcott’s book Little Women.

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We rented period costumes at the local Pandora’s Box. We dressed the table in florals and creams, washed my china and made fruit tarts, a bundt cake and cucumber tea sandwiches. Hannah's 12th birthday 097Hannah's 12th birthday 012Hannah's 12th birthday 099

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.

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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.Hannah's 12th birthday 203

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.

2 thoughts on “my little women, and little man

  1. You are a person after my own heart! When my oldest dd was about 14 I came home one day to find every stick of the furniture on the lawn outside the log house we lived in. My oldest dd had commandeered her 5 younger siblings and the neighbor children to move the furniture outside and wash all the log walls, floors etc. When I asked her what she was doing she replied, “We are spring cleaning the house the way they do in the Little House on the Prairie books,” To which I replied, “Well just make sure you have everything back in before dark.” (I had great faith in this resourceful child.) They did!


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