Part One – Becoming
A decade of my lovely girl.
A decade that has flown by.
To this mama, it feels like life has gone by at approximately the same speed it takes to scroll through these pictures:
Yesterday she was a baby, and today she is TEN.
It’s incredible to look back at her baby eyes..they look the same to me. It was her, all along, inside that chubby squishy baby body. My quirky, head-band sporting, bird-watching, fort-building, harmony-singing, meerkat-loving girl. She was in there. Somewhere.
When they brought her to me after she was born, they had stuck a baby bow to her forehead with corn syrup. It might help to know that she was born in Cleveland, Tennessee–because I have never seen that on any California-born baby. Anyway, I remember thinking it was silly, but it seems even funnier now, knowing that it would absolutely NOT be her style.
We talk a lot as parents watching our kids grow up and “become” who they are. But I had a revelation as I looked through these pictures (and cried in the coffee shop–probably startling the hipsters) and saw that same little face I’ve always known.
She hasn’t been changing as much as I’ve been seeing more clearly who she is–who she was from the beginning.
Her personality, the way she reacts to love, to grief, to joy, to sorrow, her spirit, and her life. I can look back and see ALL of those things in her. As I look through these pictures I see my daughter–I mean, I really see my daughter, I see the real Sera, not just the baby who had stormed the lives of two (very) young and bewildered parents.
I pray all the time for her character, for her to make good choices, for God to be with her “now and forever.” But maybe I’ve had it a little backwards. Maybe I should pray more for myself–for my eyes to be open to the person she already is–to this amazing girl God has created. My job isn’t to add to a blank slate, because from the beginning she’s been a work of art, all of the colors and textures and patterns and themes present beneath thick layers of time and parental expectation. Chisel those things away and there she is, Sera Sage.
Part Two: Sera’s 10th Birthday (3/17/14)
Sera had her birthday over the weekend, so we had family celebrations planned for her actual birthday (Monday).
I set everything up before she woke up.
Birthday banner: Check.
St. Patrick’s day wrapping: Check.
That’s right. After years and years of living with a budding ornithologist, we were making good on a lifelong dream. As a toddler, Sera would chase pigeons and sparrows on restaurant patios while scream-whispering, “I WANT TO HOLD THAT BIRD.”
Today would be the day.
But she didn’t know it yet.
We told her she had to eat breakfast (St. Paddy’s birthday pancakes) before we would open any presents.
I didn’t even notice until blogging these pictures that she was wearing her shirt with a little green and blue parrot on it.
Finally, she opened what she had previously guessed to be either a Razor scooter, or roller blades.
We told her that we could go immediately to pick out her bird.
I’m pretty sure they bonded instantly. Thanks to a fun gift card from her Mimi, Sera got a bunch of supplies and toys for her new little friend. She began her parakeet research right after we got home, making sure she was doing all of the right things to gain the trust of this little guy.
I’m not sure if playing the thumb piano is in any of the “bird training” guidebooks, but he seemed receptive.
Sera named him “Serakeet,” which of course, we all LOVED. But such a long name proved a little bit cumbersome. We also wondered if he would get confused whenever we called Sera by name. So she gave him a nickname. “Kiwi,” welcome to the family.
*Update: 3 weeks later and he is so at home here! We have taught him to step-up on command, and he gets super happy the minute we walk in the door. He already knows he belongs here! We all love him.
Besides the extensive parakeet research, Sera also had her journalism group meet-up. While Sera was at her meeting, Amelie and I went to the store so she could pick out a birthday present for Sera. She used her own money to get treats for Kiwi. Sera loved it all.
As is our tradition, we let Sera pick where to eat dinner. She picked her favorite, The Local Taco.
Happy 10th birthday Sera Sage! We are so glad you were born!