This time last month Nanaimo was
covered no BOUND in a muffling blanket of snow. The tires on my wonderfully compact new vehicle were not cooperating. Visitors at our house for the weekend…my new ‘boyfriend’, for lack of a better word, and his lovely 12 year old daughter. It was the ‘meet the kids’ weekend and everything was going pretty well. Until it started to snow and it didn’t stop…for hours, then days and we were being held captive in my slippery, sloped cul de sac.
Serendipitously, they ended staying for a few extra days due to the snow. Which was a good thing but honestly, I was feeling overwhelmed. Lot’s of emotional stuff circulating, we had to hike out in the snow to get groceries, personalities were starting to clash and it was the day we had set aside for Izzy’s birthday party…at our house…with six of her friends…that evening. My first instinct was to cancel. Usually, I have days to prep, cook, clean & decorate for my kids parties. This just wasn’t going to work!
Of all of my kids, she is most like me in regards to birthdays. She loves them! Anticipates her day as much as she does Christmas morning. I get it. It isn’t about the prezzies or even cake…it is just about having the people you love make you feel extra special on your day. It is something to be celebrated.
She is someone worth celebrating. An iron core wrapped in a sweet face with baby blue eyes. She was infant perfection. Yeah, you’re thinking everyone considers their babies to be perfect…hah! Not me. I love them all like crazy….but perfect? No. Born #3 in less than four years, she had to be. She considerately arrived exactly on her due date, after a few short hours of ‘easy’ labour. Once home, she slept through the night, right away. If you could put up with her completely obsessive bedtime routines…her easy sleep patterns continued through childhood. Although…trying to explain to a babysitter that our baby, who was not yet able to speak, would ‘tell’ her EXACTLY how she wanted each blanket & stuffy to be arranged in her crib…was always a bit interesting.
I think there were a few pregnancies “inspired” by Isabel that year. I tried to explain to young couples that her non-stop smiles, easy manner and strange independence…were not the norm. We had ‘earned’ this one! She was a happy, sweet baby who thought the sun rose and set with her two older siblings. She would do anything to keep their attention. Her desire to keep them laughing turned her into the family clown. Every night we’d be front row at the dinner table while she performed her crazy antics. Sweet, easy to keep happy and yet…there was something about her…
‘Who else here is free years old?’
‘Because…that’s who I have to beat…’
Long pause from mom.
Yeah, at three years old, this was the conversation I shared with my daughter before her first ‘Tiny Triathalon’. Not really sure what to make of this iron-core, teensy human…her older sibs weren’t really the competitive types. Theo was more interested in the aeration holes in the field, and Cayra was busy face painting her best friend…the race was an after thought to them. Not Iz, she was there to win! I don’t want to paint her competitive nature with a negative brush. I admire her amazing tenacity and self-discipline. She has had many successes in her short life, each one earned fairly.
A study in contrasts, this girl. You always know where you stand with her. Brutally honest, yet the first to have tears well up when she’s called on something. Fiercely competitive, yet totally gracious to those that earn her respect. Openly judgemental yet blindly loyal to her friends. Sometimes, even as her Mom, she makes everything look so damn easy it’s hard not to resent her…yet she’s so funny, authentic and thoughtful…you just gotta love her.
And we do. Despite the snow, the chaos and the lack of planning…we pulled the party together. The Chef (new BF) rallied behind me, as he could sense how important it was to both Izzy and I. Put all the kids to work organizing the house, we made a grocery store run, hauled random decorations out of the crawl space, cooked an amazing Mexican dinner, welcomed her awesome friends, and…carefully placed fifteen candles on her cake. (Oreo…of course)
Fifteen. Fifteen years of beaming smiles, outlandish pranks, good night kisses, crazy habits, hidden candy, favourite stuffies, dance rehearsals, scheduled calendars, songs sung, notes taken, shared jokes…fifteen years of Isabel ♥
This is my 100th post on my blog and it needed to be a special one. That’s why I waited…wanted to dedicate this one to you Iz. It is an honour to be your momma and I look forward to every single amazing thing I’ll get to watch you do.
“I have courage enough for any danger I can foresee, for every misfortune which I understand.” ~ Milady de Winter