: the length of time from May 21, 2004 to today
My youngest daughter K is seven today. That's right, my baby is seven years old. Not much of a baby anymore, is she? For her birthday this evening, she is having five friends spend the night. It will be a jam-packed evening, complete with pizza, pinata, craft and movie-watching. For our craft, we're making Books of Seven. In these books, the girls have space for seven lists of seven favorite things. As I made the books, I thought about how seven represents perfection in the Bible. Looked at from this angle, these books are complete perfection - seven lists of seven things.
In many ways, I think seven might be a perfect age. K is old enough for me to catch glimpses of who she will one day be. In my experience, it's difficult to know who your children really are at a young age. To some extent, toddlers and babies all like the same things. How to tell whether your daughter loves to dress up at age three because she's going to be a fashionista, because it's an easy way to express her creativity or as a valuable way to try on different personas in an attempt to learn who she really is? Does your baby like to be rocked to sleep because she's a people person or because that's what she's learned to do? Who knows? But by age seven, I know a few things about K that are specific to who she is:
She is relationship oriented. We had dinner with some college friends earlier this week. In the span of two hours, K met and formed a friendship with another little girl. They met as we were walking in to the restaurant and played and talked together for the remainder of the evening. As we sat there eating, K walked over to the mom of her new friend. She handed her a napkin with writing on it and said, "Here's my mom's phone number. I'd like to have a play date with H." As we walked back to our car that evening, I broke it to K that her new friend lives in Chicago, so a play date was unlikely. She was puzzled as to how their family made it to dinner on time with such a long commute, but unruffled about where her new friend lives. I suspect K will adjust easily to new circumstances all her life - she makes friends quickly and effortlessly. She gets that life is about relationship and she pursues it.
K is a hostess at heart. She has been planning tonight's birthday party for at least six months. She knows exactly what she wants served for dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow. She knows what movie she wants to watch, who will sleep where and numerous other details. Whenever we have someone drop by to visit, K is quick to make them feel at home. I hope K always has an open door policy - for her dorm room, apartment and first house. She understands that one purpose of a home is to use it to bless others.
K loves sports, dance and all things performance. At her recital last week, she kept a huge, genuine smile on her face the entire time. She simply loves being on a field or on a stage where people watch her. Last night as I tucked her in to bed, she told me she wanted a birthday crown to wear all day today. "So that everyone will know it's my birthday," she explained. I smiled inwardly at how different she and I are (you won't catch me in a crown on December 10th), but I made her a crown this morning before our trip to Waffle House for her birthday breakfast. She wore it with aplomb. I hope K will always be as comfortable in her own skin as she is at the sweet age of seven.
Seven might just be the perfect childhood age - when a child is old enough to be independent, confident enough to know her preferences and content to still be a little girl. I'm going to savor every minute of it.