Last night my daughter had her 7th birthday party at our house. She chose a mermaid theme, invited her closest friends and we ordered pizza. Her brothers had left to go for a sleepover at their grandparent’s house so she was feeling very special and very excited for her girl time not only with her friends, but I would learn as the night went on, to have her girl time with me.
It was this comment that stuck with me, stopped me from what I was doing and made my heart leap. She is seven. This age might not seem old but it is. I can remember the day she was born…ginger hair, bright eyes and lovely long fingers that looked like she had already been to the nail salon. She was such a good baby and it went by in a blink. I can remember her wanting to be where her older brother was all the time and crawling with the speed of light to get there. She loves to hear that even when she knew how to walk, if she wanted to get somewhere fast she would drop to all fours and streak over to her destination.
When it came time to go off to school she was so excited to make her little friends and play with other little girls. It always impressed me that while she was devoted to her brothers she always knew how to rock a princess costume while drawing a hot pink mermaid…a true renaissance girl. And she has remained so to this day. While her room is a blazing shade of pink and covered in posters of fairies, mermaids and every Disney princess you can imagine, her bookcase is also littered with books about sharks, alligators and Greek Mythology. I know I am her mother. I know I am biased. But I have always found her to be a very interesting person. I have always felt very blessed to have her as my daughter.
I am not sure why I was so stopped by her comment about spending time with me, having me at her party. I had asked her if she wanted me to be scarce while she and her friends were eating and, without missing a beat, told me no. Told me I had to be at the table eating with the girls…that I am one of her girls. It was this comment that I will take with me as I know that there will come a day, maybe soon, that I will not be required company at the table when her friends are over. She will have her own personal life with her friends and a mother’s presence might not always be top on her list. And that’s okay.
As a kid, even when I was on my own hanging out with my friends, I always knew that my mom was around. That I could find her, talk to her, ask her things or simply just be in her presence and it made me feel better. That is really my goal for being a mother. I am not after having the smartest or most gifted kids who are driven by my goals, anxieties or ambitions. Rather to have kids who are interested in lots of different things and confident enough to follow those interests and see where they go. To have a sense of humor about life and realize how lucky they are to have a family and friends. To keep life’s pleasures simple and avoid the trappings of what someone else wants them to be. To be true to themselves.
After the party was over and she was ready for bed (in her new mermaid nightgown), she thanked me for the party and said it was the best birthday she would ever have. She had all her favorite things and that seven was going to be a great year. She’s right. Seven is going to be a great year. And I am so glad to be a part of it. I am so glad to watch her play, and grow, and learn. I am so glad to be one of her girls.