My Lauren turned 5 last week. Tonight I came down to tell me something. The way she talks is just so cute and I told her I wanted to just take a bottle and capture her "5 year old ness" and put it in the bottle so I could save it. Then I could take little sips of it down the road. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Yeeeeaaaahhhh, not going to happen!"
Alas it is true but oh that I could bottle a bit of her cute 5 year old essence up to savor in years to come. I guess that is why we have video cameras right?
For her 5th birthday we had a family party with cousins a few days before her actual birthday because all the cousins on my side were in town. Then on her actual birthday she had one of her best friends over. We went to McDonald's for happy meals and ice cream cones (her request) and to play in the play place. When we got home I painted finger and toe nails.
Then Lauren opened the present the little girl got her. Later that night we went to Red Robin for dinner (also her pick) and afterwards we had cake and ice cream at home. Our neighbors across the street joined us for that. It was a fun day for her and she got lots of fun toys.
Us singing. Me leading the song. Lauren protecting her candles from outside blowers ... like her Dad!
Last year her birthday was way hard for me. It was so hard to see what was suddenly my littlest girl growing up. This year I have had the same summer waves of emotion hitting me, but they have come with less force. I woke up a bit trepidatious on her birthday. I felt a wave of reflective sadness headed my way. Then I just decided I wasn't going to let it hit me this year. At least not on that day. Not on Lauren's birthday. She was excited to turn 5. I was going to be excited with her. And I was. And I am. In fact I love her 5 year old self and wouldn't have her go back to 4 if she could. Onward and upward.
I have been riding the waves since then watching the unfolding of the lives of the Sullenger family that so many of you have commented about on my last post or emailed/called me about. Thank you for thinking of me. It is an honor to me that you think of me as someone to help them. I have left a couple of comments on their blog. For now that is all I can do. Those first days you are so inundated with information and people and well wishers and all you can think about is, "How is this happening? how can I still be here? How can I still be breathing? How can I make it be different?"
I don't know this young family personally so I don't have their email or address so for now I will leave comments as so many of you have and when or if they ever feel a desire to reach out and talk to others who know what it is like, they will have my email and blog from my comments. It took me weeks before I could even think about someone else and that other's out there were also going through that pain.
It seems every summer will have its waves. Luckily, for me the waves are not all grief related. I enjoy some happy waves with family and friends as well.
Noble with my brother Stephen from Texas in California.
Three families of Harris cousins (minus the 3 baby boys) keeping safe from the waves.