Farewell to Summer

The big girls started school last week so Ava and I found ourselves with a little 'mommy & me' time on our hands. I decided to take her to lunch at one of my very favorite places on God's green earth: Whole Foods. The sights, the smells, the sounds ... that place is pure loveliness! Every time I go in to Whole Foods, I start contemplating what kind of employment I could take up there in order to justify regular visits to that yummy place. A cashier, a baker, a sandwich maker ... hmmm, the possibilities are limitless! Unfortunately, none of those jobs could pay as much as nursing does so I always return to my senses rather quickly, but it's good to dream for a little while. :-)

While we were there, I bought some sinfully delicious Lacey's cookies for Ava and I to share for dessert (http://www.amityheritageroses.com/Laceys.html). If you have never tried this unbelievably good, melt-in-your-mouth, fusion of chocolate and toffee, then you must RUN, not walk to your nearest Whole Foods or Trader Joe's. I promise it will be a singular taste experience!

Ava had never tried them before so after she took her first bite, I asked her, "So, whatcha think???" She got this dreamy expression on her face and said, "It tastes like heaven in my heart." I have never heard her use such an expression so it was very amusing to me, but also surprising in it's accuracy of descriptive powers. For that reason, I've co-opted it for myself this past week and use it anytime something is particularly scrumdiddlyumptious. Case in point ... these images of the girls in a late summer's field. In this ode to the waning days of summer, the light, the golden grasses, the sunflare, but most especially the girls are like the "heaven in my heart".
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As lovely as a summer's day, she is ...

Here she is in all her sun-kissed glory ... my pure and tender-hearted, recently-turned-eleven years old Sweet Pea. Happy summer birthday, lovey!!! She's a beauty, that one, and when I speak of her beauty, I am referring to her irrepressibly bright and gentle spirit. Every so often, I get to spend some one-on-one time with this little gem of a girl and I always walk away from our time together with a thankful song in my heart for all the sunshine she brings into this world.

Part of what makes my heart want to burst with pride is reflecting on how far she has come in her short eleven years. She stormed into our lives as if she had a bee in her bonnet and everyone was going to know about it. She demanded a center-stage spotlight from Day One and, as young moms are wont to do, I fretted about what this would mean for her future. Would she always be this unruly and unyielding? Would she be able to play well with others? Would she grow up and become a demanding Broadway starlet?

Alas, my dear Sweet Pea C., you have allayed all of my fears as you slowly, but surely, blossomed into the sweet, loving, bubbly, thoughtful, funny, smart-as-a-whip girl that you are. Funny thing is, you really shun the spotlight now, preferring instead, to be the solid & steady girl in the background that everyone can rely on. Who would have guessed??? In this way and so many others, you have taught me that every one of us is about infinite possibility and change and growth and that all I really need to do is to give myself and others the grace to 'do' and 'be' just that.

Many, many thanks for all your spontaneous hugs and loves, my little monkey-loving girl. You know, the ones out of the blue, where you throw your arms around my waist and lay your head against my chest with a big squeeze and a heartfelt "Love you, Mom!" You are a bright spot in all of my days ... love you MORE!!!


Post-note: As you might have deduced from the photos above, my most recent photography obsession is the almighty sun flare. It is the hip & happenin' new trend in portraiture and I'm loving the edgy, dream-like vibe that it infuses into the image. Just add it to the long list of little obsessions ... :-)
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