Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Birthdays, Snow Days, and 398.2

Saturday was Molly's 10th birthday. Every mom asks, "Where does the time go?" It doesn't seem to matter if you are celebrating your baby's first birthday, 10th birthday, sweet sixteen, or your baby just turned 21, you still ask that same question, "Where did the time go?"

I love looking back to when my kids were younger, what mother doesn't? I remember Molly's thick dark hair before it lighten up. I remember trying to keep it out of her eyes and by her first birthday, she didn't just have enough for a cute ponytail with bows, but it was touching her shoulders already.

But, when I'm 87 years old and rocking in my rocking chair, this is what I will see in my mind's eye of my Molly. She was three in these pictures. Hair long and light and full of personality. She still is! As a parent, I agonize over teaching my children well. I want them to be strong, independent, kind, compassionate, and passionate people. I want the world to be a bit better because they are in it. I tell them that they don't have to change the world, but just make their small, little piece of it a better place.

But the thing is, as I agonize over guiding them, teaching them, learning to let them make decisions on their own and when I should intervene, I have learned so many lessons from them. They have all taught me so much. 

Molly is my "go with the flow" kind of kid. She has spent a good part of her 10 years being dragged to Shannon's soccer games and the boys basketball games. But she was never a problem. When she was real little, she would sit in the stroller, good as gold, playing with few toys or eating her Cheerios and Goldfish. Parents would comment on how well behaved she was. When she got a little older, she would pack a bag to entertain herself because she really had no interest in watching a soccer or basketball game. Her bag was like a Mary Poppins bag, filled with books, markers drawing pads, juice boxes, snacks, once she even brought her microscope and binoculars. She also has a love of books and learning and has such a curiosity to learn about the world.

So this weekend we celebrated her "go with the flow" spirit. On Friday, I brought up a couple of slices of Sal's pizza for luck, her favorite. When lunch was over, she wanted me to see her desk. Whenever it's someone's birthday in the class, the teacher sends the birthday student on an errand and when they get back, their desk is all decorated with birthday stickers and a birthday sign. So cute!

Molly loved her owl birthday cake.

 When she was sleeping, I removed all the snowflakes from her room and decorated it with flowers in hopes to get some positive spring mojo going.

It didn't work. 

One of the things that Molly had on her birthday list was books. I went to Barnes and Noble and got a little bit carried away, but she was in her glory. We just finished reading Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. We had such a fun time reading it. It is filled with references to other books. Some of them are obvious and some are a bit more subtle. 

"Everyone, please pay very close attention." cried Mr. Lemoncello through a squealing megaphone. "The Dewey decimal doors are now open and, unlike Tuck, this game will not be everlasting. Therefore, it is time to race upstairs like the rats of NIMH!"


"Of course." Mr. Lemoncello pointed to the smudge on Charle's shirt. "If you like, I will also have Al Capone do your shirts."
All Charles could do was nod, smile, and wonder when Al Capone had opened a laundry.

Molly was very excited when I read about Tuck Everlasting because we had just read it a couple of months ago and she just got Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nimh for her birthday.

What Molly will be reading. I had so much fun picking out her books.

Her favorite new necklace. 398.2 is the Dewey decimal call number for fairy tales. Molly and I saw this somewhere online and she thought it was the most clever thing. Of course, I made a mental note and then ordered it.

Her next read is When Audrey Met Alice. Audrey is the First Kid, her mom is the President. Audrey is trying to get used to her new life in the White House. One night, while making tea in the kitchen, she wanders into a closet and finds a loose floor board and under it, is Alice Roosevelt's diary, the oldest daughter of Teddy Roosevelt.

I gave Molly this book to give her some background knowledge of Alice Roosevelt. 

We also went to Teddy Roosevelt's house on Long Island a few years ago but Molly doesn't really remember it. We might have to make another visit again this summer when we visit Grandma.

When I went searching for the pictures, they are dated summer of 2008. Molly was only four, no wonder she really doesn't remember.

That's when she wore a pink dress, every…single…day.

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