Harper Lee turned 11 on Friday.  The weekend was one long party, and she had a
fabulous time with all her sweet friends and family.  Friday night, the four of us celebrated with dinner
out, which has become our birthday tradition, and on Saturday, we hosted a wild
luau complete with limbo contest and Daddy’s fireworks (special thanks to our
neighbors for not calling the Sheriff’s Department), and Sunday was a special
day with grandparents. 

When it was all
said and done, and I had turned off the light and was pulling the door to her
bedroom shut, she said, “Mom, thanks for all the hard work you did for my party.”


You know those moments that reach into your chest and
squeeze with all their might?  That was
one of those.


Sometimes I get weepy about the fact that my babies are
growing up and that we no longer spend long days at home finger painting or
stringing beads together.  But
then I listen to Harper Lee as she discusses her thoughts and opinions about
the upcoming Presidential election or when she makes up hilarious
and clever stories to entertain her brother or I watch her working so hard on an
essay or community service project or aggressively attacking a soccer ball, and I am in awe of this
amazing person who reminds me everyday of who I want to be in my own life.


And the best part is that now we sit side by side working on
our art journals and go for long trail runs together. 

What a lovely evolution it has been and
continues to be.