An 11th Birthday
Today – a post about the one who doesn’t get mentioned all that much here. Sophie. We are about to celebrate her and her 11th birthday this weekend. I am so excited to make her a party and a cake, and shower her with too many gifts.
Sophie’s birthday has historically been a time when we spend way too much money trying to make up for the fact that Max gets most of the attention. When she was a baby, we tried to make up for all that was missing in her life – and ever since we have harbored a slightly nagging feeling that she was getting the short end of the stick. Never, for one moment, do we think that she wasn’t getting what she needed, but maybe not always exactly what she wanted in a way that all children deserve some of the time. Max is just larger than life and his needs sometimes suck the air out of the room.
Sophie has risen to every occasion ever presented to her and she too is larger than life. I have never been more proud of her or more happy to spend time with her. She is beautiful, funny, content, capable and strong – not only in her ridiculously strong body – but also in her heart. She is more than just a straight-A-smart middle schooler, she is also wise and resilient. I really do want to be like her when I grow up. Sophie is comfortable in her own skin in a way that I never was, still am not, and never will be.
Sophie and I have not always gotten on as smoothly as I would have liked – due mostly to parenting mistakes on my part. We were thrown together when she was almost 2 years old and I was painfully unprepared and unskilled at mothering. I would give anything in the world to be able to start over. I think sometimes that Max came along to save us all; and that if it weren’t for the need to über parent him, I may not have ever come to be the Mom I hope I am today.
When I think of where Sophie might be without us, I can’t help but see how very fragile life really is. But for the aligning of stars one day in offices that spanned from New York to Trenton to Philadelphia to Moscow and back again, she would not be our daughter.
I hope for her a year much like the last one – a happy year, great success in school, new friends and great achievements. I think she is entering the dreaded pre-teen years having already struggled with the growing pains that her peers are still facing. Quite possibly, we may all be spared some drama.
On Sunday, I will wish a happy 11th birthday to my girl – and send her off into another year where my love for her will grow even deeper in my heart.