La Mulţi AniOctober 13, 2011 at 10:17 am | Posted in Lollipop, Transylvania | 21 Comments
Tags: Birthday, Children, Expats, Growing Up, Life, Milestones, Motherhood, Personal, Relationships, Romania
La Mulţi Ani.
It means Happy Birthday in Romanian. And Lollipop will be hearing it a lot today.
Five years ago, after 34 hours of labor (27 of them unmedicated), I finally held her in my arms and marveled at this pink, puffy creature who kept licking her squished-up fists. Who was she?
She’s spent every day since answering my question.
She is creative. When she makes cards for friends, she spells with fancy letters, which all end in a complicated series of curlicues.
She is smart. She can write her name, along with Mom, Dad, Giggles, Bun, cat, love, and a handful of others. She can add. And she can work a touch-screen cell phone way better than me.
She is strategic. Whatever is being served for dessert, she will have one bite left when her brothers finish. Exactly one bite.
She can work a room. In an authoritative voice that bests even my ninth-grade civics teacher, she announces, “Okay, everyone, it’s time to marker. Come choose a notebook please.” Then she inspects the work, doling out stickers for exceptional rainbows or properly drawn Ps.
She is vulnerable. Despite her self-confidence, harsh words hurt her. She holds it in until an ill-timed warning to stop blowing bubbles with her straw becomes, well, the last straw. And then the tears come.
She is inquisitive. How do snails grow bigger shells? Why are apples yellow, red, and green? Was I at your wedding? Where does the sun go at night? Why do we have three remote controls? What time is it in Texas right now? When will Bun get more teeth? Why is snow cold? …
She wants to win. Eating dinner, buckling up, cutting with scissors, counting to 10 in Romanian — life is a contest. Finish first or get upset. Maybe pout or cry a little, too. (We’re working on it.)
She is the Gaga of preschool, matching an orange sequined skirt with purple leggings and an “I ♥ Puppies” shirt. Or a green tutu over blue jeans with red plaid ruffles. Or her longtime favorite, the paint-stained Cinderella dress.
She inspires me. I long for the enthusiasm she has for the simplest things, like choosing a pair of socks and putting napkins on the table. In the way she tackles each day I see the character of her heart: earnest, eager, courageous, and precious.
She is precious, and she is mine.
Yes, she is mine.
How would you describe your children? How do they inspire you? And how do you celebrate birthdays?