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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Special Birthdays

On July 23rd, my littlest baby turned 4 years old. I don't know where the past four years went. I am so grateful to have lived these past four years beside my daughter, being touched by her soul of pure light every day. Her Birth Day was a scary one, as were all our kids'. It's incredible to think how far we have all come in the years since those terrifying Birth Days. For Ella's birthday, she had her first big girl party, where she got to paint ceramics with her friends. She was beyond thrilled. It was so much fun to watch her with her friends, her balloons and cake, laughing like the happiest girl in the world.

On August 11, Jonah and Ben turned 11. We had a birthday party for them and their friends. They got to play paintball, win tickets and prizes at an arcade, have pizza and cake with friends. Just like normal kids. Love it. 11 years ago right now, I was going through the most horrible, frightening experience of my life, knowing that my fragile little babies would be born soon and they were too little to be outside of their safe little Mommy Cocoon. That day, and for many afterwards, we didn't know what would happen to them. We couldn't predict how their brains, eyes, ears, muscles, livers, lungs...how any part of them would develop. We are truly blessed. Times four.

When Aidan, and now Ella, turned four, part of me was filled with dread. Four years old was the age when our already-fragile world began to fall apart even more. It is the age when Ben's struggles intensified. So every time another child turns 4 years old, I worry that that same thing will fatefully happen this year to this child- that they will begin to show signs of deep, desperate trouble. Each time I have a four-year-old, I hold my breath for the year I have a four-year-old.

"4" and "11" sound so old, so different from previous ages. It sounds like we don't have a toddler girl and little boys anymore. It's exciting to think of the adventures and changes that are coming our way with each new age and stage, but it's also sad for Mama to feel the littleness of each child slip away. Tonight we were out driving to get ice cream. Ella laughed a huge belly laugh because she saw a semi-truck without its trailer attached. She said it was so funny because she "saw a truck with just a head!" Things like that I will miss as all my kiddos grow up. Their innocence, their discovery of amazing life in every day. 

I know that each age holds a 'specialness', and it's a gift to be able to watch my children grown and make their way through life. I am so grateful that my children are here, beside me, every day. I am lucky to be able to share their lives with them, and that blessing is always most palpable and present on their birthdays.

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