Saturday was Dimples’ 10th birthday and it was a big celebration. Normally we have a family dinner, but since Marissa and her kids were here, we invited Signe’s family, and of course Aunt Michele and her family. That gave us a grand total of 30 people here to celebrate.
Two weeks ago Dimples gave me some birthday gift suggestions, but she was clearly anxious about narrowing down her options. She kept changing her mind about what she might like, and finally she said, “Just get me anything you think I will like.” When a child has had so little, it seems to be nearly painful to have the opportunity to receive something. I think in her mind it may have gone something like this, “What is the best thing I could possibly ask for? Will I really like it once I get it? I won’t get another gift until Christmas; what should I choose? Maybe it’s best not to ask for anything at all, then I won’t be disappointed.”
She was uncomfortable opening her gifts and not very responsive – no smiles or thank you’s that I can recall, but we didn’t press her. That’s not to say that I wasn’t just a wee bit disappointed that it seemed her gifts were duds, but I didn’t dwell on it. Later that night and the next day she did enjoy her gifts, she just had to adjust to the reality of them and not the imagined hope of what they might be.
After gifts we moved right to cake. At first she still seemed a bit nervous, but as the candles flickered on her cake and we sang our two birthday songs, she began to smile – a little shyly – and then her smile grew wider. She beamed.
That moment was sweet joy for me. She was surrounded by people who love her and she felt it – it reached her. It was priceless.
Look at her face in these two pictures – that last smile does my heart good.
#361 – 370 giving thanks
candles on the table
unexpected dinner with friends
Russ enjoying time with his parents
favorite recipes on pretty cards for my newly-engaged niece
more interviews for Sweet Pea
Eby discovering he likes to vacuum the stairs
friends who listen while I try to make decisions
completing this month’s bookgroup pick – the first time in many, many months
little boys playing while I wrote my talk for Sunday
a clean, fluffy down comforter straight from the dryer
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