Last week Grace turned seven. Seven! Seven is starting to feel like a big number, like a big grown-up girl, like she is emerging from the world of being a little kid into graceful girlhood. She is our full-of-grace Grace.
Rob was away in Haiti for her actual birthday on Wednesday, as well as her birthday party on Friday. We missed him but we managed to have a fun time celebrating anyway, and then we had yet another birthday celebration the day he got back when she opened her presents and we had one more round of cake and singing. We had her birthday party this year at one of those indoor bounce house places and invited friends from school and church and just around town.
I do so love a fun invitation. I love beautiful cards and lovely paper products and invitations and such; these were designed by a helpful, nice seller on Etsy and then I had them printed on postcards. We did a pretty big party this year (again? I seem to keep throwing these giant birthday parties) because it seems like a good age to still have big, inclusive parties with both boys and girls, and also because it didn't change how much the party was going to cost to invite a ton of kids. I imagine we will be shifting toward more intimate parties as she gets bigger and more immersed in her own social world, but I was full of joy this year to see her run around with a gaggle of friends of every type.
I feel a lot of shifting in what it means to be Grace's mother, and even writing about her here feels like something new to navigate. This post on Grace's birthday is my 300th blog post and writing here feels different now than it did when she was a baby. I've seen other mothers who write online say they aren't going to share as much about their children as they get older, and I will admit that I didn't quite get it and maybe rolled my eyes. I am starting to feel the same thing, though; it becomes more obvious with every passing day that Grace is her own person and her story is all her own, not mine.
Who she is today is less wrapped up in who we are together as a mama/little-person pair. We made each other in a very real way, she shaping me no less than I have shaped her, but she is striking out in the world, a world that I think should be staggered by how empathetic and smart and beautiful and amazing she is. Her usual partners for walking to and from school happened to all be unavailable one day this week so we decided she could walk home by herself (well, actually, with the mass of other children walking home along the same streets, but by herself in that none of them were charged specifically with walking with her). She has her own voice and her own future and her own hopes, and I am so happy to get to be here in the thick of who she is becoming.