Friday, July 27, 2012


You are eight. And you are full of everything.

You are eight. And you are musical. You've taken to piano like a fish to water. Music is in you, my girl, and you have always needed to let it out. From singing "Juicy" when you were two, to learning to whistle at four, to performing original songs for us at six, you have always come to life when music was playing.

You are eight. And you are funny. Sometimes you say things that make me wonder if you are sneaking out after bedtime and watching Jimmy Fallon. Your humor is pretty sophisticated. Except when it's not. You, like your brothers (and dad), find farts and burps funny.

You are eight. And you are loving. You snuggle up to me, all knees and elbows where there were once rolls of baby fat. You have a hard time going to sleep and often come into my room four or five times a night for "one last hug before bed." The part of me that gets irritated is loudly overruled by the part of me that knows that one day, that "one last hug" really will be.

You are eight. And you are still picky. You have a total menu of about eight things that you will eat. This hasn't really wavered over the last few years. The only thing that has changed is my frustration over this situation. I have decided that you are growing and strong and healthy and I should focus on that.

You are eight. And you are a great lover of animals. After you come in to give me "one last hug" you head over to Tilly's bed and give her one last hug as well. She is well hugged by you. Often I will come into a room to find you on the floor next to her, whispering to her how wonderful she is and hugging her. If there is an animal show on television, it gets your attention. You have told me that you want to be a K-9 police officer so that you can work with animals and help people--two of the "very best things".  There will be dogs on  your birthday cake and your excitement about taking your first horseback ride for your birthday has been the topic of several conversations this week.

You are eight. And you are a reader. Long after I declare "lights out," you are huddled in your room, reading because you "just can't sleep until you read the next sentence/page/chapter."

You are eight. And you are brave. You went parasailing on our vacation. You did it through tears. In the end, you loved it.

You are eight. And you are stubborn. You refuse to like spiders. EVER. You don't care if you ever learn to ride your bike without training wheels. You will not try spaghetti no matter how many times we tell you that spaghetti noodles are the same as macaroni noodles and that the sauce is like pizza sauce. You insist that you will never move out of our house and that you will live here forever. (I have other ideas about this one, my love.)

You are eight. And you look up to your older brothers and sister. You want to be included in their fun. You spend half your nights having "sleepovers" in your brother Sean's room. You follow him to play with all the boys in the neighborhood. You watch James as he plays a video game, quizzing him and complimenting his play. You wander into Maggie's room and, against your better judgment, let her do your hair.

You are eight. And you are one of the finest gifts heaven has ever bestowed on me. Your clear blue eyes, your wavy, unruly hair, your ticklish ribs, your snorting giggle, your warm hugs--these are all things that have made my life better for having experienced them. I tell people all the time that even though your dad and I thought our family was finished after Sean, God knew better. (Doesn't He always?) He knew that we needed you. I didn't even know I was missing you until I had you. And every day I am extraordinarily grateful that God knows what I need better than I.

You are eight. And I am unbelievably blessed to hear you call me "mommy."

Happy birthday, Mary Rose!!


P.S. You are my favorite Mary.

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