Today I'm thankful for growth. Not the kind marked by candles on a cake or measured by feet and inches, although we have our fair share of that going on around here. I'm glad today for the small encouragements I so need in this challenging journey called parenting. We celebrated Peregrine's ninth birthday this week, and there were small things I noticed, things that spoke to me of a maturing that is taking place. (And really, there are days that I'm not so sure it's happening at all!) He thanked everyone for coming to his party. He was truly excited about each of his few gifts, beaming with gratitude for things thoughtfully chosen by people who love him. He said thank you without being prompted or reminded. He ran over and hugged me, face glowing, after opening a gift from Erik and me.
My favorite part of a birthday party is the moment we sing; I've always loved watching their face in the glow of candlelight. Part of growing up is learning the sometimes painful lesson that it's not all about you. And then, for one magical moment, it kind of is all about you but in the best way, with so much love and happiness and thanksgiving for this life, all mixed up with memories and hopes and dreams.
Erik took this picture, and I love it. It captures Peregrine so well. Poppy wanted to make him a mask for his birthday, and he was thrilled with her gift. He added the silk cape and became a superhero. I love the joy and serenity on his face, absorbing the love that was so present in that moment. I love the crooked candles that Raphael put in the cake. And I love the boy who is growing, in more ways than up.