London’s Birthday Party¬†

The family gathered this afternoon, to celebrate London Kate Miller, who will be seven years old on Monday. London is my great niece, daughter of my nephew Eric, granddaughter of my sister Linda. 

I call all the younger children in my extended family the “grands”. The kids interact a lot, and consider each other cousins and friends. Linda is Gigi, my sister Debbie is Meem, and I am Yaya to this group of sweethearts, with the exception of little Kaleb, who has always called me by my name. 

London's Birthday Party
I looked up London’s name:

“London, you bring to completion anything that you start. You are generous and like to see returns from your giving. You possess leadership abilities. You are moral, balanced, honest and intellectual, and you may choose a spiritual path through life. You are wise and practical with an appreciation of beauty. You are direct in your communication style, methodical, and believe in law, system and order.

 Keeping the peace is important to you, and you want those you love to live in harmony. You desire to balance your life with those around you and you may feel incomplete without someone to share your love, ideals, wealth or work with. You can be very sensitive and appear a bit shy. You are developing your intuition. Compassion and empathy enable you to nurture others well. 

London's Birthday Party

Such powerful words, for a seven year old. And yet I see London already exhibiting many of those characteristics. She is generous, with strong leadership abilities, honest and direct, with a sense of justice, law and order. 

London is a peacemaker. The eldest of Linda’s grandchildren, she desires harmony among the cousins and helps with one while entertaining another. Watching her, I see how much London already values peace and love within her family. 

London's Birthday Party
London's Birthday Party
This loving child knows how to have fun, too, and that’s what today was about. London kicked off the party by opening presents, expressing gratitude for her gifts, allowing her younger cousins to help open a couple of them. 

London's Birthday Party
London's Birthday Party
Happy birthday was sung…with the large group present, it took a couple of attempts to get us singing in harmony…and London’s cute birthday cake served up. I passed on cake and ice cream, and enjoyed instead the closeness of family, the joy and laughter, as I chatted my way around the room. 

London's Birthday Party
London's Birthday Party
It was a fun afternoon, celebrating this precious girl. No matter what paths she chooses, as she journeys through life, I look forward to watching her continue to grow, in body, in spirit, in wisdom, grace and beauty. I choose to walk beside her, encouraging her along with her parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, sister, brother and cousins, as London offers her compassion, peace and harmony to the world. 

Happy birthday, London. I love you!

London's Birthday Party

Surrender 58: Happy Birthday London

Today marks the 6th birthday of my great niece, London Kate. The family gathered to celebrate at Roller City, in Joplin. This colorful, fun skating rink was the place to be this afternoon, as children and adults gathered for at least five birthday parties, creating an energetic and festive atmosphere. 

 

 
The children and some of the adults in our group took to the floor. The youngest family members made use of an ingenious device that resembles a walker, which allows them to skate securely without fear of falling. The rest of us sat on bleachers at the end of the polished wooden floor, watching and waving as kids skated by. 

Although this is a newer facility, completely remodeled after the tornado in 2011, some things never change. The house lights would dim and the disco lights spin, casting splashes of color across the ceiling and onto the skaters below. Familiar games such as Freeze and Limbo were played. And the lively songs rocking through the speakers encouraged skaters and spectators alike to move with the music. 

 

   
The beautiful birthday girl enjoyed it all, skating with her daddy, Eric, and then her Papa Roy, before taking spins around the room on her own. London is very family oriented. She loves a party, appreciating any reason to get together with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. She moved easily from person to person, accepting “happy birthdays”, giving out hugs and smiles. 

  
  
Watching London blow out her candles, enjoy a delicious piece of cake, and open presents, I realized that the toddler is long gone. This is a young lady, about to complete kindergarten, poised, confident, and affectionate. She’s a loving daughter and an excellent big sister to Aralyn. London is a fun and playful cousin, and she keeps her adoring Gigi young at heart. 

Intelligence shines out through her big blue eyes, which can turn mischievous in a flash. And she has a generous and expansive heart. She’s called out to me often as I was leaving, running to me for one more hug and kiss. My granddaughter Aubrey and London, who is my sister Linda’s granddaughter, are the best of friends. They love dancing and singing and creating together, as they laugh and play. I’ve watched their relationship deepen in the past year. 

 

 
As London grows in stature and knowledge, she continues to grow in grace and beauty. I look forward to seeing her take her place in the world and offer her gifts out of a full and open heart. Happy birthday, sweet girl! I love you.