Today is my older daughter’s birthday. The extended family will gather later in the week for a birthday dinner, when everyone can be present. However, I enjoyed spending time with Elissa this evening as she shared a quiet night at home with her family. I love that she set aside time for herself late this afternoon and had a birthday nap, and that she allowed me to bring her a special treat. When I asked this morning what I could bring her this evening, she replied that she wouldn’t say no to a chocolate chip double doozie, from Great American Cookie Company!
Greg and I arrived with FOUR chocolate chip double doozies, one for Elissa, one for Josh and one for each of the boys, and a gallon of cold milk. One cannot eat a double doozie without a tall glass of milk to wash it down with! Sitting and visiting with her, it was hard to believe another year has flown by. It has been a busy year for my girl!
Elissa and Josh got married last November, joining their hearts, their families and their lives. It was such a special time, as Dayan and Jonathan stood with their parents while they expressed their love and devotion to each other. They have combined households and I am so thrilled for them, so proud of them, watching them juggle careers and the boys’ busy schedules with competence and love. They carve out time to do things together, take family trips, hang out together at home.
Elissa is a wonderful mother to Dayan and to Jonathan, encouraging them to follow their hearts and do what they enjoy. She cheers Dayan on in the many school and extracurricular activities that he participates in, always present in the audience as a witness to his life. When Jonathan performed in the school talent show, she was there clapping wildly, nervous for him, and proud of him, at the same time. And present as well when he had a lead part in a play, after a week of drama camp this summer. I love how connected she is to those boys.
She is connected to her brother and sister as well. Although they are all adults with families of their own, these siblings stay in touch and have fun together when they can. Elissa, being the eldest, challenges her younger brother and sister, in everything from board games and ping pong, to dressing fashionably and winning at life. As a child, she was the bossy one, sure that she knew what was best for Nathanael and Adriel, and not afraid to tell them so! She is not so bossy now, but she does not hesitate to step in and offer help and encouragement and advice when it is needed. There is mutual love and respect among those three, and their significant others. The six have a great time when they are together, and I love watching them interact.
I am so proud of Elissa. As her mom, it brings joy to my heart to watch her journey, to see the growth that is evident in her life, and watch her engage others. She has such an amazing sense of humor. She doesn’t use it to wound, or to deflect, but rather allows her wit to brighten the lives of those around her. She especially enjoys teasing her dad, who wouldn’t know what to do if his eldest child didn’t kid him whenever they are together. Elissa is settling into who she is, discovering what she has to offer to the world, learning to seek within rather than without. She shines brilliantly. Elissa is not only my daughter, but one of my favorite people to hang out with. Happy birthday, beautiful girl. May the next year be full of love and light, adventures and joys. I love you so much!