August 31, 2011 birthday eve (post Hurricane Irene)
Saying farewell to ten! It’s been quite a year and quite a month. Lots to report, but no time now. Amidst a power outage, no electric, no lights, no water, no phone. A bit challenging but all is well. Just landed from Europe last week and we’re escaping to the New Jersey shore tomorrow. [The birthday party that had been planned was postponed.] More to share but must sleep before our big trip. I just didn’t want to miss an entry in this journal before the month came to a close.
September 1, 2011
Since nine hours ago, plans have changed. You came into our room at 11:30 at night in tears. Two things were on your mind and weighed heavy in your heart. The first was that you did not want to go to the beach; you just wanted to stay home. The second was that you don’t want to grow up. The first one is easy. We will not go to the Jersey Shore. I must honor your need to be home. Though you expressed this feeling about our trip to Europe, we did not honor it. Plans were made and we went. We could not leave you home. You rallied and I think you had a great time. But in the end, your heart was here, at home. Now, it is much easier. Yes, it is challenging to be home without electric. But after all, it is your birthday. You should get this request honored. Wish granted, my dear!
Now for the not-growing up piece. In certain ways, we cannot do anything about this. And, I completely get it. You like being who you are now. Recently, you’ve been faced with challenges of getting older. Middle School starts in a few days. Learning lockers, different classrooms, teachers for different subjects…it is a lot to negotiate. You love being young and who you are. I shared with you a few little pearls that I hope you can hold on to.
- I let you know that even as a woman in my fifties, I still feel the little girl inside of me. She hasn’t changed. She still is me and a part of me. She is with me all the time.
- I reflected on being young and gave you the example of Pop. Even though he is 91 years old, he can still be young and playful. He jokes, teases and laughs.
- Really, the key is to be in the moment. Rather than thinking of the next moment and next year and getting older, if we are just present, we will live life more fully. I see this in you dear Maya.
Your tears slowly went away. When you were ready to go back to bed, I asked you, “Maya, now that we’re not going to the beach, what do you want to do for your birthday?” Your response was, “I don’t know…just be in the moment!”