It’s Not My Birthday, Let’s Celebrate Anyway!

One of the downfalls of the commuter family life is missing out on special occasions. Often they occur in the middle of the week and the commuter is out of town. Such is the case this week as my younger daughter turns 12…such a magical age. Ok, sometimes a bit harrowing!

I recall as a new mom hearing about the rule of 3 when it came to growth spurts. They’d happen around 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 3 years, 6 years, 9 years…well, let’s just add 12 years to that heuristic. The classic signs are all there…primarily crankiness and whining. Now usually the symptoms of the growth spurt only last a week or two and the end result is that the child grows an inch or two literally overnight and…peace reigns again!

Just a few days ago, I overheard my older daughter telling her sister that she was done growing now…because she and I had hit our peak heights at 12. But, I don’t think this is the case with my youngest…she was my biggest baby measuring in at 8 pounds 2 ounces…more than 2 pounds heavier than her sister (who’s about five foot two) and a pound and a half heavier than her brother (who’s about five foot eleven). I always said she’d be taller than her sister and taller than me, although she’s only about five feet right now…but she has size 9 feet! Nope, I don’t think she’s done growing quite yet!

Part of the whining of late (I’m trying to figure out if this has been going on for 2 weeks now…to indicate that it’s about over!) has been about wanting myriad Hunger Games paraphernalia. Now, you’d think someone who has asked for as much of this stuff as possible for her birthday wouldn’t ALSO ask for everything she sees at the store…but you’d be wrong.

So last night, we held a birthday celebration. After many “I don’t care’s” about what to have for dinner and whether to eat in or out (compromised with carryout), we ended up with grinders and a store-bought cake with candles “1” and “2” to identify her new (almost) age. The sandwiches were soon devoured and then we came up against a match dilemma. We are a non-smoking, rarely light a fire kind of family! But eventually a match was found, “Happy Birthday” was sung, and it was time for presents.

First gift was a boxed-set of The Hunger Games. She read them all on her Kindle, while sharing it with her sister so they could both read at least the first book before the movie came out. It’s actually on my Kindle account, but since she has no account of her own, she can read anything I’ve downloaded. Even though she could read and re-read the books on Kindle, she has an affinity for real books; child of my heart! I wrote about how she loves to re-read series’ of books in my post The Joy of Reading Favorite Childhood Books Again (and Again!) . So now she’s has a third series to add to her Harry Potter/Percy Jackson mix.

As a family, we have come to learn that the specific day is not what is important…it is the time we spend together celebrating the milestone that means so much…whether it is a few days early or a few days late matters not.

Find the Joy in the Journey…no matter where you are along your own path!

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