Monday, February 11, 2008

Beautifully Twelve

"Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”
~ Beatrix Potter ~

It was a week-end of planned festivities: a basketball game for the younger brother and a tea party orchestrated by the birthday girl for weeks and weeks, down to the littlest details. Then, the high temperatures began to appear on Friday night. The basketball game was canceled, and we had to alert our tea party guests that germs were making havoc with our well-laid plans. After the initial disappointment, and the tears of an honest girl, we made it a "keep the germs to ourselves" tea party. The place settings were beautiful: an eclectic collection of flowered plates and tea cups with sandwiches, fruit salad, Madeleines and strawberries.

The next evening found us enjoying a birthday dinner of steak and mashed potatoes and broth. The loving birthday girl happily served broth to her man-sized brothers; they were collapsed on the living room couches as the next victims to get hit with the flu. We sang happy birthday around the Swallow Cake (as in Swallows and Amazons), with the candles placed properly for lighting the boat's way across any dark body of water.

With an eye for beauty and a skillful hand at sketching and painting, this girl has big plans in life. Plan A is to major in art, with studies of fashion ("that covers women's bodies") and architecture tucked in between, and her current plan is to write children's books while she lives with her immediate and extended family in Maine. Don't those sound like beautiful dreams?

She is the perfect recipient for ceramic high heels with lavish details (photos currently unavailable) AND for a pocket knife from her daddy (Winchester knife set)

And books:

In the Footsteps of the "Swallows and Amazons" by Claire Kendall-Price

At Home with Beatrix Potter by Susan Denyer

The American Girl's Handy Book by Lina Beard

Her latest creations include a tent in the garden (unfortunately created just before the hurricane-like winds came a calling) and a delicate lace apron made from IKEA curtain extras. One never knows what this imaginative, kind, beautiful and passionate young woman will think of next.

Well, actually, I do know. The next thought is: pierced ears. We tried to have it done on Sunday, her actual birthday, and they were out of earrings. Again, she was a trooper and took the disappointment with cheer and flexibility. Our hope is to go tomorrow. Unfortunately, now she is flopped out on the couch, moaning and coughing. Her cheeks are flushed, her eyes are glassy, but she still radiates the creative and happy spirit for which she is known and loved.

The true test of character is said to come with adversity, and this young woman has shown herself to be resilient, creative and caring when illness and disappointments arrived. I am so proud of her.

Watch over your child, O Lord, as her days increase; bless and guide her wherever she may be. Strengthen her when she stands; comfort her when discouraged or sorrowful; raise her up if she falls; and in her heart may your peace which passes understanding abide all the days of her life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Happy birthday, my dear girl.

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