On the evening before my daughter’s sixth birthday, I tucked her in and kissed her goodnight. Not two minutes later, she called to me, “Mooommyyyy!!!” With a sigh, I returned to her bedroom to see what ridiculous excuse she had dreamed up. “We forgot to order my birthday cake!” she said nervously. “Oh honey, remember, your party isn’t until next weekend,” I reminded her. Due to the unfortunate timing of a special event, my husband had to work a few hours on a Saturday, and I had very little interest in orchestrating a birthday party without him.
Izzy apparently had no such recollection of this arrangement. “What?” she shrieked, devastated tears spilling down her face. Shawn and I had put so much effort into figuring out the best possible party date due to his work conflict that we had evidently neglected to fill our daughter in on our plans.
Distraught, she threw herself back in bed and sobbed, lamenting that she had to wait a whole week for her party, and shouting that everything was ruined. I felt helpless, as I was admittedly responsible for this communication breach. Like Mommy, Izzy prefers to be fully informed and prepared, and she does not handle disappointment particularly gracefully.
There was little I could do besides hold her, smooth back her hair, and whisper that now she would have two special days to enjoy. When her sobs eventually subsided, Izzy sniffled and told me she would like to have a lullaby, a practice we hadn’t indulged in for several years, with the exception of the occasional nightmare or illness.
|Classic Izzy at 3 years old|
|4 year old Izzy and her best pals|
|The five year old birthday princess|
|My sweet six year old girl|
Today, on Izzy’s sixth birthday, I celebrate all the things that make up her disarming personality. I celebrate her sensitivity, even though it interferes with our plans sometimes. I celebrate her imagination, and vow to cherish her impromptu theatrical and musical performances rather than grimace when she presents me with another invitation. I celebrate her determination, even when it breaks my heart. I celebrate her incredible empathy and tenderness towards all creatures, knowing how far this will take her in life. I celebrate her verbosity, and remind myself that her burgeoning vocabulary and wit are worth the price of never having a moment of silence. I celebrate my lovely, compassionate, creative, intuitive daughter, and the six years we have spent together.