Thursday, November 3, 2016

Charlotte Turns Eight

Oh Charlotte, how can you be eight years old already? You are still the sunshine in our family. You sing in your room, at the dinner table, and in the car. You play best with Truman. I've looked in Truman's room to see his floor covered with legos and the two of you busy building. On special occasions, Elise gets out her American Girl doll and you play tea party or birthday party together. Recently, Amelia helped you sew your own dresses for Mary Ellen.

You also like your own imaginary play. There have been afternoons or Sunday mornings when I realize I haven't seen you in an hour, and then I find you deep in imaginary play--usually with shopkins or petshops, a miniature town built with carpet squares and calico critter furniture.

I have to add that you can delve out a powerful thunderstorm too! You've got your own trademark sass. That's the firecracker personality you've had even as a toddler.

This year was a family birthday party. You asked for lemon cake with lemon frosting. When we sang the birthday song, you waved your arms conducting the song. As the youngest, the one who gets dragged to soccer games, school concerts, and xcountry meets, you relished the attention as we celebrated you!
Both sets of grandparents attended your baptism. Grandma and Poppy traveled all the way from Washington state, and Grandad and Nana drove 16 hours one-way from Mississippi. They love you very much. Aunt Allison and Gage also came--so you were surrounded with family! Even though there was a BYU football game in Washington DC, we were surprised how many of our ward friends made it to the event. The primary room was full.
Madi and Truman played the piano and Grandma led the music. Sister Davis gave a talk about one of your favorite princesses: Rupunzel from Tangled. She talked about Rupunzel wanting to see the "lights" and going through challenges to reach goals. Elise, Madi, and Truman performed a musical number. You requested "For the Beauty of the Earth" for the opening song and "How Great Thou Art" for the closing song. I was a mess during the closing song - I gave up trying to sing and just cried.

Dad baptized you and Grandad and Grandpa were the witnesses. When you came into the changing room afterward you kept saying, "I feel so happy! I feel so happy!" You looked beautiful. We hugged and hugged!

I gave a talk about the Holy Ghost. I showed the picture of you and Yuli and talked about how she helped keep us safe, made us feel happy, and took care of our family. Then I compared that to the Holy Ghost. Every member of our family cried because we miss Yuli, but also because we could feel the spirit.

It is a strange experience as a mom to watch my last child be baptized. It is a celebration, certainly. A bit of a relief too. But there is also a sadness...not in the event, but in the passing of time and the end of an era. I don't have small children in the house anymore. Everyone is accountable. The next big celebration in our family will the transition from home phase to college phase with Madi's graduation. I'm definitely not ready for that phase!

Thank goodness you came to our family, dear Charlotte! You've extended my "mothering" years and increased my mothering joy. You are loved!