Family Life

Seven is Bittersweet

I’ve been getting daily reminders for the last week and a half.

“Mommy, did you know there are only 10 more sleeps until my birthday?”

“Only 4 days until my birthday!”

“I can’t wait for tomorrow, Mommy. Do you know why?”

Well, the countdown is over and her big day is finally here. Goodbye six, hello seven.Tee’s Montessori school has a nice tradition where each child is sent home with an “All About Me” box a day or two before their birthday. The birthday child is responsible for putting objects and photos into the box to share with their classmates during the classroom celebration.

This year, Tee chose to add her copy of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, a Mega Venusaur EX Pokémon card, a LEGO instruction manual, and her R2-D2 necklace, all objects symbolizing her current interests. We also went through hundreds of photos, and out of all of them she picked these four to show her friends and teach them all about her.

This photo was taken on Tee’s first day, about 4 hours after she was born. Here we are with the midwives who helped bring her into the world.

And here’s Tee’s first day of preschool three and a half years ago. She wanted to be a teacher and a soccer player.

Another proud moment for Tee: when she earned her yellow belt in karate last summer. It’s been wonderful watching her gain in skill and self-confidence, and I feel better knowing that she’s learning to defend herself if necessary.

And finally, this one of Tee, her sister, and the dog snuggling together.

In many ways, Tee reminds me of myself at that age. She has an opinion about almost everything, and she’s so smart (maybe too smart for her own good sometimes!). She’s one of the most stubborn kids you’ll ever meet, but she also has a strong sense of fairness and a generous spirit. She won’t give you her last grape, but she will give you her next-to-last grape, and that’s almost the same thing.

Tonight, as we had a special bedtime snuggle on the very last day of being six, it struck me that our current relationship is on borrowed time. Things are changing. Sure, Tee still needs my lap when she gets hurt and she loves our nightly kiss and hug and snuggle routine, but she’s growing up so fast and discovering more and more of the things she can do without my help. Seven is teetering on the edge between little kid and big kid, and Tee is a wonderful mix of infuriating and endearing, brashness and sensitivity, rabble rouser and thoughtful leader. In short, she’s entirely the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

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  • I love your frame idea for the first day of school!! So perfect!! My son will be starting 5K this year and I think I will do this for him as well. I swear the older they get and the more they become their own little people its so bittersweet!! You want them to stay little forever but you just love watching them grow and become amazing people!! Happy Happy Birthday Tee!!