this one turned eight last week.

Sometimes I feel badly because by the time her birthday rolls around, just a couple of weeks after The Caterpillar's, I'm just kinda tired and I often chince out on the day o' your birth celebration for The Dormouse.  This year was more problematic because I had been out of state for a funeral four days before her birthday.  I honestly did have some wild plans for a smashing cake, but I just couldn't get it together when I got home after the emotional Big Thunder Mountain Railroad week I'd just been on.

We kept it simple this year and only went out for a family dinner on The Dormouse's birthday.   She chose the place because it's her favorite restaurant (Heaven knows why).

But then a couple of days later, she got baptized and we all made a giant deal about that.

The baptism was, well, kinda perfect.

Everything went well and there was a Spirit there that I know people other than me felt too.  It was so important to me to have this be about The Dormouse and her decision and for it be an experience she'd look back on and remember.  Through some creative scheduling and planning, I think we succeeded in that.

Grandma flew in from out West and gave her a lovely quilt made specially for her.

Two days before, I got a call from the Primary President in our church saying, "Woah, I forgot all about your kid's baptism!  It's in two days. I haven't done anything yet! Let's real quick come up with a program and speakers and what do you want to for music and do you want to bring treats for afterward who's gonna talk and what about and AAAAAAAAAAaaaahhh!"

I guess historically in this congregation, most parents let the Primary President plan and do it all.  But the problem with that is,

Hi. Have you met me?

Not only do I not relinquish control easily, but I always just assumed that it should be the family's job to plan and execute a... well... family baptism.   It never occurred to me to even ask her for help, much less to expect her to do it all.  So when she called me Thursday night freaking out, I was all, "Oh, I've already done that.  Yep.  Taken care of.  Programs?  Printed.  Music.  Check.  Refreshments?  Already ordered and shipped from New York.  Anything you can do?  How about you clean up afterward?"

I'm still not sure whether she was happy or taken aback by my preparedness, but honestly... meh.  Don't really care.  

If you'd asked me eight years ago what I'd think about this day - her turning eight - I wouldn't have been able to answer you.  Not that I didn't think this day would come but that it was so far out of my realm of consciousness, I couldn't really fathom it.  I remember shortly after we took her home from the hospital hearing someone say, "The days are long, but the years go by so fast," and man, is that ever true.  Now, in the blink of an eye (several million blinks of an eye, I suppose, but it seems like just one) here she is, a young lady, trying very hard to be her own person yet still hold onto childhood.

Today, a colleague was describing my daughter to someone on the phone and said, "Oh, she's a very small, very cute, not self-conscious, eight-almost-twenty-three-year-old little girl."  It's as good a description of her as any I've heard.  What she missed in her description though is how this eight-almost-twenty-three-year-old little girl has inspired in me an ability to love I didn't previously know I had until she came along.  Whatever problems she's given us, whatever problems she will in the future, this is the thing I hold on to about her:  she is full of love.  She inspires it.  She exudes it.  I love that about her.  I love her enthusiasm for life.  I love her wide-eyed wonder about the world.  I love her.