Little Girls

Molly's 4th birthday was Sunday.  I distinctly remember when Anna Cate turned 4, my dear friend Annie said something about how 4 is sort of a signature passage out of toddlerhood.  In a way, it is heart breaking because I've so enjoyed my children being young. It isn't always easy, but it is always, always precious. I have yelled and laughed, cussed and cried, so maybe it is not always precious, but it is sacred.  Having healthy, beautiful little girls has been such a treasure stop in my life. They aren't perfect, and they won't ever be, but being the mom of little girls has been defining and delightful as well as challenging and exhausting.

A few things I want to remember about the 3 year old Molly:

She starts her prayers at dinner every night, exactly the same:

"Dear God, thank you for this wonderful day and this wonderful world" and then she proceeds with her daily thoughts.. . .

She loves to rub my neck.

She looks at her big sister with such love and guidance. I'm so thankful that Anna Cate is so worthy of that love and direction.

She is so pleasant to be around.  In fact, she is hilarious.  To quote my Dad, "she is one of the greatest characters of Western Civilization." Regretfully, there were times when I wasn't even sure if I liked Molly, but I just adore her spunk and personality. She is cunning and kind all in the same little package, and I am just so thankful she is my kid.

She wanted an Izzy party at the bounce place in town. It wouldn't have been my first choice for a party because I like entertaining in my home, BUT it was a blast and all the kids seemed to have fun, especially Molly.

The only decoration or original party decor was the cake and cake pops made by my friend Chas at Mommy Bakes. 

 But more important than theme or decorations were the presence of family and friends to enjoy themselves and celebrate our girl.

 Anna Cate was a great helper.

So while I celebrate my girls' birthdays, I find myself a little sad that this phase of having little kids might be over.  

My Mom was here this weekend and we celebrated her birthday along with Molly's with lots of fun, and the "icing on the cake" was that we have had three snow days to enjoy each other. 

We enjoyed an afternoon at a fancy little tea room in downtown Fredericksburg.
 I do love having girls and doing girly things.
Because we had a snow day, we took her the airport and I witnessed a tearful goodbye.

After we dropped her off, rather than turn around to come back home I decided to into DC to visit a Smithsonian. I told the kids we were going on an adventure and since they were getting older we can do things like this. 
Thanks to Siri and GPS,  we found our way to The American History museum. 
That hand gesture above was Anna Cate trying to show she is thinking. 

Anna Cate is fascinated with the Civil Rights movement in our country. The fact that black people were enslaved or treated badly baffles her and it is bitter sweet to watch her learn about the dark sides of history as well as the heroes who fought to overcome injustice. She soaked up everything she could in this little corner of the Smithsonian which exhibited the tales of The Emancipation Proclamation, the 1963 March on Washington and a few things in between. 
 Molly liked the escalators, the pictures. . .
 and pretending she knew how to read. 
 I teach World History now, but I love revisiting my first love in my field, American History.  It is such a story of heroes, of a country made great by many, but whose stories we relate to in the tales of individuals like Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass, Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King and many others. There was another exhibit about the Holocaust and when Anna Cate asked what it was I said sort of under my breath but to her, "oh honey, I don't want to tell you about yet another dark side of human history. Let's go look at the First Ladies' dresses."  Life presents so many metaphors. 

The little unplanned excursion would not have happened with babies.  So while I will treasure the memories and the times I had those little, little girls, I know I will enjoy them as little "big girls" as well. 

Your children are not your children.
They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. 
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

~Kahlil Gibran