Sometimes, there are so many good things going on in my life that it’s a challenge to decide which journey to write about. That’s a great problem, right? Tomorrow is my granddaughter’s 7th birthday. Her mom and family celebrated with Aubrey last weekend. Her dad, stepmom and this side of the family will be celebrating with a big joint birthday party for Aubrey and Oliver in November. Tomorrow the whole family is gathering in Oklahoma for a huge Halloween party, that will include a cake for Aubrey. I will be taking lots of pics and will blog about that event.
I was debating between writing about Aubrey’s birthday a day early…or a day late. Life worked it out for me. I got to spend the afternoon with this young lady, on the eve of her birthday. Greg helped me out today by picking Aubrey up from school while I was finishing up a closing. Her school had a Harvest Party so she got to wear a pink and black cheetah costume all day, which seems very appropriate for a girl born on Halloween.
Greg brought Aubrey to me and she accompanied me to the Keller Williams Realty office, to hang out while I completed my work. My office is SO cool. When we arrived, kids were trick or treating through the building! Realtors had bowls of candy on their desks or beside their doors, if they were out of the office. Aubrey enjoyed winding through the hallways, saying “Trick or Treat” and filling her bag with candy. There was a great photo op display set up.
While I finished up for the day, Aubrey played office, with Waddles the Penguin as her client. I watched her, marveling that she will be seven years old tomorrow. It’s been a big year for Aubrey. She completed her first year of school and did wonderfully well. She’s a first grader this year. As I worked on the computer, she practiced writing words and practiced reading words on the charts in the room.
With her daddy’s marriage to Megan this year, she expanded her family. And family is very important to Aubrey. She loves her mama and little brother AJ. She loves her daddy, stepmom and brothers Joey and Oliver. She loves her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Like so many of her generation, Aubrey has a large, expanded family…blended here, divided here. Because her mom and dad and stepmom parent her and love her well, she handles her big, beautiful family with grace, acceptance and compassion. I love that about Aubrey.
With all the boys in her family, Aubrey loves that she has a girl cousin who is close to her in age. London is technically a second cousin, the granddaughter of my sister, Linda. The girls enjoy their time together, treating each other as best friends. Their relationship has shifted this past year as they’ve both finished a year of school. I can see them becoming young ladies. They have amazing conversations together. Play with wild abandon. Sing and dance and create videos. I love when we have a girls’ day and Aubrey and London get to spend time together.
I love each of my grandsons, and appreciate their boyish energy, their creativity, their strength. And I’m grateful to have a granddaughter as well, someone to do girly things with. This past year, Aubrey and I have had tea together, enjoyed our love of movies together, walked the neighborhood and talked about life, and most recently, discovered the joy of coloring with colored pencils in lovely books together. I see so much of my younger self in Aubrey, but she is open and without fear. I learn from her. And the young girl that still inhabits my heart feels so much braver, because of Aubrey.
Tomorrow, my family parties together. The kids will go trick or treating. There will be food and costumes, chatting and laughter. And in the midst of all the fun, we will pause to sing happy birthday to the girl born seven years ago on a holiday that she has fully claimed as hers. Tonight, I wish her a joyous and healthy year ahead, full of love and growth and happy adventures. Continue to shine bright, sweet Aubrey, and be you. Have courage…and be kind. Happy birthday. I love you!