My daughter turned 7 on January 29th. I guess seven is the stage where they are sort of caught between wanting to stay a little child and wanting to be an older child. The other day Allika got dressed very carefully and deliberately and then came out and asked me if she looked like a teenager. It kind of bothered me. I didn't like it that she was growing up. I didn't want her thinking about fashion and looking older than she is. She is supposed to be my little girl.
A short time later though, she was bumping elbows with a puppet and catching her wiggles in her hands to tie them up and put them in her pocket. Back to her old self.
I know growing up can be a little difficult on her, too. There is such a hard-to-find balance between being too little and being too grown-up. She pushes me away so that she can be independent, and then, calls me back because she needs me again.
I guess this is what the next several years will be: me watching her grow up too fast and trying desperately to slow things down, but all the while, knowing this is the way it's supposed to be and hoping and trusting that, by the grace of God, we have given her the tools she needs to go to the next level of life.
(Whew! What a nice, long, emotional run-on sentence that was!)
(Now, on to things a few feet closer to the surface.)
We had a little party at the Nature Center with some of her friends and family. My brother and his family came up from Centerville, IA to help us celebrate. It was very nice getting to see them and knowing that they had come so far to be with us. My sister and her family were also there, along with several good friends. It was so much fun.
We did an animal theme, so I had the kids do a little "animal hunt" where they found all the animals I had hidden. For prizes, I went to Half-Price Books (love that store!) and bought a bunch of brand new children's books about animals for .50 cents each. They were all different, and the kids loved picking out which one they wanted.
Allika made brownies for her birthday cake. I decorated it with my sweet decorating skills (ha ha).
The Nature Center did a presentation on the different adaptations of amphibians and reptiles and then brought out several different animals for the kids to touch and hold and learn about.
I think everybody had a lot of fun, and Allika got some really neat projects and things that she has been enjoying.
(The sign that greeted us as we walked into the room)
(Allika and several of her friends, waiting for the festivities to begin)
(Allika and her cousin, Tea, dressing up as reptiles and amphibians to show their different adaptations)
(The kids, observing a snake)
In the next few days, I will be sharing about what she bought with all her birthday money. Joy of joys!