Yesterday my firstborn child turned 8. My heart is so full. I want to write volumes about my beloved daughter. But our day was very full and in the end I went to bed without even trying to start writing about it. (I don’t know why I didn’t write anything beforehand except that all last week was pretty busy and I never quite found the time or even the inclination to write anything for it.)
Still. Eight. Eight years ago this teeny tiny person came into our lives alternating between quiet alertness that startled everyone who came into our room and a horrible bawling that nothing would stop. I still see in Bella those two sides: the quiet observer who takes everything in and the highly sensitive child who often gets overwhelmed by it all and doesn’t quite know what to do with what she’s feeling. Poor thing.
We began the day with Mass. And a special blessing from Father Currie. Then pancakes and an expedition to get a new bike with Daddy while I stayed home with the younger kids to wrap the other presents and make a cake.
I never learned to ride a bike. Partly because until I was 12 we lived on a very busy street that didn’t have sidewalks where I could practice riding. Mainly because I was a bookish child and afraid of hurting myself. And once I’d got to a certain age I was too conscious of the fact that I was rather old to be learning to ride a bike and somehow the shame of not knowing was less than the shame of being seen learning. Or something like that. At any rate it never seemed very necessary to me as a child and now I’m almost forty and it’s far too late for me to do anything as undignified as learn to ride a bike.
Anyway, I figured it was high time to get Bella a bike before she likewise thinks she’s too old to learn how to ride it. And boy was she delighted. I didn’t manage to get to the store to buy it before her birthday so instead she got a special outing with Daddy to pick one out. Oh and a new helmet too, of course, which I’d probably have forgotten.
Then Grandma B came over and visited while I iced the cake (flourless chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting) and then Bella opened her other presents and then we all went to Bertucci’s. And then came home and ate the delicious cake. And then bedtime stories with Grandma reading one of them. And I read Bella a story from her new princess stories book. And then to bed very late after a very exciting day.