>> Saturday, May 16, 2009
The night before Maren was born, I was admitted to Advocate Lutheran General in Park Ridge, IL. I was begging Jon for 5-Cheese Lasagna from Leona's, and cruelly, he turned me down, using the pathetic "you can't eat in labor" excuse. Hullo? Have you given birth? I need energy to get me through it. Anyway, I had to settle for ice chips and sugar-free hard candy. So, today, when I asked Maren what she wanted for dinner, it was only fitting that she asked for Manacotti -- a girl after her mother's cheese and tomato sauce lovin' heart!
Ah, yes, it is true, my little MareBear turned 8 today, and I really don't know how. She was just my infant who talked to angels in the morning. I'd peak in her room and she'd be speaking in the most beautiful high pitched tones that clearly were intended for a celestial audience.
Then, she was my toddler who began ballet lessons and was scared her first time on stage, yet next week, she will have her 5th recital and she is eagerly anticipating her performances. Just a few short years ago, I wondered if she'd fit in with typically developing peers, and today, I have to wonder why I ever worried to begin with; she has dear friends -- friends who see her weaknesses and her strengths -- friends who invite her to parties and sleepovers, and friends who argue with her when they think she is wrong. Friends.
I sit back and just stare at my 8 year old and can't wait to see what the next 8 years will bring. More dance recitals. More friends. More girl tiffs. More sleepovers. More movies. And, boys....yes, in 8 years I presume Maren will have a boys in her life...cute boys! And, of course, she will have heartaches and heartbreaks.
In the next 8 years, Maren will continue to have amazing friends. Some of her friends now will be friends with her for life. She will make new friends, too. But, she will also seem increasingly behind her friends in some areas, as they develop more quickly than she will. And, some kids who have included Maren will fall away as their interests change. Some kids who previously didn't judge Maren will begin to judge. And, her heart will hurt. My heart will hurt.
And, then, I'll step back and dry my tears, shake it off and remember the tween and teen years are rough on every kid -- regardless of chromosome count. I will remember to focus on the friends who love her, not the peers who judge her. I will force myself to the reality of the world: nobody is universally loved. There are people who dislike President Obama, Stephen Hawking, Oprah Winfrey, Michael J. Fox, and even the Dalai Lama. People who chose to be judgmental will always find flaws. They will find them with Maren; they will find them with Jonah, they will find them with Archie, and God only knows, they don't have to look hard to find them with me.
So, each day will will continue to love and celebrate and enjoy all that is our Little Miss Magic. She will continue to grow and flourish. She will get older, taller, smarter, sassier, even funnier (if that is possible!). She will continue to show the world how beautiful she is -- and those who believe in magic, they will certainly find it in her.
Happy 8th Birthday Baby Girl! Each day with you is the greatest present I have ever gotten.