Our lioness is 7 today. A family ritual is that the birthday person gets to plans all the meals for the day. So, Naomi has chosen eggs and ham for breakfast, fruit and a veggie shake for lunch, and sloppy joes for dinner. She also choose Sweet Addiction ice cream sandwiches on cookies as her treat. We ordered a catering package that is a make-your-own ice cream sandwich. Yum! The children will really enjoy making their own.
I do have to share an experience from last year because it is very fitting to her birthday…and to the purpose of this blog and why you are so intimately involved in her life.
A year ago on this day, when Naomi turned 6, a well-meaning person gave her a card with A.A. Milne’s poem “Now we are six.” I LOVE Winnie-the-Pooh, from the old Disney that I grew up watching. I can remember seeing Winnie-the-Pooh and Mousercize on the Disney channel in the early mornings while my grandfather prepared for work. I personally never got off the sofa to Mousercize, but loved to watch it. :). I shared my love of Winnie-the-Pooh with my children. When Micayah was young, I purchased the full set of A.A.Milne books and read them to all the children. We have read them repeatedly and are due to read them again for Niamh and Caitriona.
So, when Naomi got that poem in a card, it was fitting because she was turning 6. But the last line was a little haunting to me even then.
“Now that I am six I am clever as clever
I think I’ll be six forever and ever.”
Maybe it was a premonition that her 6th year would not be an ideal child’s experience, but somehow for a brief moment on her birthday last year I feared she would indeed be 6 forever and ever and maybe something tragic would happen. Honestly, this was not the only premonition I had last summer that life was about to change. On another day, after my Grandmother had left from a vacation with us, I was in the kitchen working on an ordinary day, while they children were all in the room playing and Aaron was home, and I had a sense that I had just experienced the last good week I would have in a while. I remember thinking that we had lived a very blessed life and were about to experience hardship like never before. I could not explain it and tried to push it from my mind. It felt like something big was about to happen and my memories of being with my grandmother would be the experience to hang on to during the coming days. Late in a September, when Naomi was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia, that poem on her birthday card came to mind immediately. Also, the day my Grandmother flew out, in early August, and the doom I felt in my heart.
So, I wrote all that to get this off my mind and heart to celebrate today freely. And after taking with the children about this today, we have realized that, in a way, a part of Naomi will always be six. Her marrow is new and gives her a new start at life.
Today, we intend to enjoy life completely. It also seems fitting that tonight we get to attend the Vigil for the Assumption of Mary so that we can give thanks to God and all of you for the many, many prayers you have said for Naomi and our family these past 11 months. We are so Blessed.
Here is to Naomi’s 7th birthday. May her days be bright, happy and full of all the things the life of a 7 year should be!