1 : extreme or excessive in degree, size, or extent
2 a : joyously unrestrained and enthusiastic
My youngest daughter K is officially six years old. I debated about what to title this blog post and considered SIX, BIRTHDAY or PARTY before going with the first word that comes to my mind when I think of K: exuberant. (As a sidebar, am I the only person who wants to spell this word exhuberant? I spell it wrong nearly every time I use it. Why is that?!)
It's amusing that the first definition of exuberant is excessive in size. K is diminutive: at her five year check-up, she weighed 32 pounds, a weight that many children attain in their second or third year of life. I would be surprised if she's much more than 35 pounds when I take her for her check up in a few weeks. I've joked that she must have bird bones because she seems to be hollow inside. So she's not exuberant because of her size. Anything but.
She is, however, joyously unrestrained and enthusiastic. Just last night, I ran an errand after dinner and when I returned home, K was literally jumping up and down to show me a rainbow in the sky. We captured it with a photo, but I should have stopped clicking away at the sky and tried to capture her joy in this event.
Of my three daughters, K is the least like me. I've always been far more on the restrained side of the continuum than the unrestrained side. I'm quite good at suppressing my emotions and usually try pretty hard to not let myself get too excited about something, in case there's a letdown to follow. I basically approach life with caution and care. K, on the other hand, runs headlong through life and while I hope she'll grow to control her emotions a bit more than she does at age six, I pray that she'll always jump up and down in excitement.
Since K's birthday falls at the end of May, she's never had a true birthday bash with all of her friends. Don't get me wrong - she's had celebrations: last year, we celebrated her birthday at the beach with close friends and family. But Memorial Day is late this year and school doesn't end until May 27, so this year we planned a big party. We've rented an inflatable and invited just about everyone K can think of. We started by inviting her entire kindergarten class, church friends and dance friends. We've added neighborhood friends, 4th grade friends and anyone we've run into since we set the date. Just yesterday, K said to me, "Mom, can I invite E to my party?" My response of "Sure!" elicited an enthusiastic grin from K as she ran over to tell her friend about the party.
Our weather forecast calls for rain off and on all day - not a great combo for a birthday party with 30 kids who hope to get to jump in an inflatable castle. So I'm praying that K won't have to mute her exuberance. I'm praying that the cake is good, the pizza yummy, the play plentiful. I'm praying that she knows that her enthusiasm for life gives J and I so much joy in her.