In spite of my insistence that this time around she absolutely, positively could not turn another year older, Olivia went right ahead and turned eight without even asking.
And she did so with the usual amount of fanfare. She somehow sneakily finagled me into hosting yet another loud and raucous birthday party, complete with screaming, running children, and new this year, a chocolate fountain and balloon animals, courtesy of Audrey. Honestly, the entire party was courtesy of Audrey, who is a party hoster extraordinaire. Audrey planned the games, herded the kids, and pretty much ran the whole show. Awesome Audrey, yes she is.
But back to this crazy idea that my Livvi is now an eight year old. EIGHT. Eight is no longer, in any way shape or form, a baby. Eight is full-on kid mode, with prepubescence lurking just around the next bend in the road. The funny thing is when Mitch and Alisa were eight, I looked upon them as practically adults. I had them unclogging drains and using power tools at eight. With Olivia, I feel like we've only just barely left behind the training pants and sippy cup stage. Now that she is eight, I may be forced into admitting that she might be old enough to handle a butter knife and make her own peanut butter sandwich.
Right now the table in our family room is covered with plastic pink ponies, stuffed animals, sunglasses, random birthday cards, a few crayons, a balloon, some candy, and a math worksheet, all belonging to Olivia. Looking at that conglomeration of things, I am reminded of just how much energy, movement, joy, commotion, emotion and life she brings to our house and to our family. She keeps me going, whether I want to or not. Somebody must have known how much I was going to need that little girl to keep me sane, which is really ironic, considering how crazy she drives me sometimes.
So, to my sweet Olivia Grace, on your eighth birthday, I will not even ask you to promise me that you will stay eight forever. Instead I will do my best to relish every moment of the next year with you, and try not to be sad that every year seems to go faster than the last one.