Today Sunflower is the ripe old age of 8! I first met her when she was 3 and so tiny. Now that she has grown so much, she likes to tell me, “Pick me up!” just to see if I can still do it. For now, I’m still able to just barely lift her up and keep us both from collapsing directly to the ground, but I have a suspicion that the day I can’t pick her up anymore is right around the corner.
She’s grown in so many ways over the past 5 years, and not just by getting bigger and outgrowing clothes in the blink of an eye. I remember her saying “I can’t” a lot when I first met her, and she seemed to genuinely believe she was incapable of so much. I didn’t know then where that was coming from, so I grew impatient with it. I just told her “Yes, you can.” Gary and I wouldn’t hear any “Girls can’t do this” or “Girls can’t do that”, and she slowly crept out of those stifling chains of helplessness.
And she hasn’t stopped yet. She is smart, strong, funny, quick with a joke and super fast with a smart aleck comment. (Gary blames me for that; I blame him. It’s an ongoing debate.) She devours books like a hungry dinosaur, always ready for the next one, eager to read out loud to us to show us what she can do.
Her imagination is tremendous. I catch her wandering around the house seemingly talking to herself, then I realize she is simply in the middle of one of her dramatic scenes, with characters and props surrounding her that I can’t see but that she sees plain as day. When she dances, she informs her daddy and me, “My back-up dancers are behind me”, then turns to regard them every now and then during her performance, making sure they are dancing up to her standards. (God be with them if they aren’t!)
Sunflower is undeniably a beautiful little girl, and Gary and I have focused on reminding her she is so much more than a pretty face. Behind that beautiful face is a sharp, witty, intelligent, and imaginative mind, and a truly good, loving spirit. She is adventurous and bright, and my biggest birthday wish for her is that she never, ever loses that part of her.
Happy birthday, Sunflower! It has been an honor to watch you grow over the past few years. And just between the two of us…you get your smart-aleckness from Daddy!