Today You Are Eight

by Kathy on September 17, 2017 · 0 comments

in Abby, Birthdays, Blessed, Bob, Family, Friends, Gratitude, Happiness, Life, Love, Memories, Milestones, Molly, Parenting, Sean, Siblings, Time


How is it possible that you are now eight?

I can still remember getting settled into our pre-op room at Christ Hospital, before the c-section to deliver you.

I recall how many times I repeated our doctor’s mantra for us, “September 17th is going to be a happy day!”

I was afraid to believe we’d really get to bring you home, after all that happened since Sean was born in October 2003.

We wanted so much to have another child and felt so sad when Molly died in April 2008. And then, finally, in September 2009, you came along.

Our miracle.

Our rainbow baby.

And so much more…

This month you began second grade at Keller. It is the last year Sean and you will get to attend the same school and we are all relishing in that.

For as long as I can remember, you have known what you wanted and been determined to get that.

From turning down Chicago Cubs tickets for today’s game via Daddy’s work, because that’s not how to want to spend your birthday (though you did cheer for them when they were in the playoffs last Fall and won their first World Series in 108 years)…

To choosing your extracurricular activities this Fall: dance (ballet, tap and hip hop), musical theater (Alice in Wonderland Jr.), swim team and being a Brownie Girl Scout!

You opted out of some things you’ve done and enjoyed in the past, such as Keller’s soccer team, knowing that could be too much and not wanting to over-program your life. Though your plate is pretty full.

You love to read and do so every night before bed. You recently began the Harry Potter series after Sean told you he started (and finished) all the books when he was your age.

We sometimes joke that you were born in the wrong generation, as some of the items on your birthday wish list included: a lava lamp, a globe and a typewriter!

You are passionate about the Disney Descendants movies, characters and animated tv show, based on the lives and adventures of classic Disney villains’ offspring, including your favorite Mal, daughter to Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty.

I am excited for our coordinating mother/daughter Halloween costumes portraying Mal and Maleficent!

You enjoy our family adventures, including bike rides, a last-minute spring break trip to Clearwater Beach, FL in April and our summer’s end getaway to NYC last month!

You loved looking for shells on the beach at the gulf coast, getting to see the Statue of Liberty and experiencing your first musical on Broadway, Come From Away!

You continue to be into art and fashion, coming up with such fun, interesting and creative outfits everyday for school or other outings and events!

You love that your hair is getting longer and get a kick out of trying various ways to style it, including pigtails, wearing headbands and having it straightened when we go for our hair cuts with Laura.

You we’re fascinated by the presidential election last year and liked to learn about and discuss the candidates. I was proud to hear that you voted for Hillary Clinton in your first grade class’s mock election on Election Day.

You are so caring and kind. You ask thoughtful questions and really listen to the answers you receive. And then of course follow-up with more questions! That can be tiring for the adults in your life, but we love how much you want to learn about your world.

You have so much fun with your friends, whether playing tag at recess in school, participating in extracurricular activities, summer camp, or playdates and sleepovers.

When we planned our trip to the Big Apple, you agreed (along with Sean) that your birthday celebrations would be lower key and presents would be minimal.

We explained that as you get older (and we do too), we want you to appreciate the value in prioritizing experiences over things.

You continue to help us honor your sister Molly’s memory, even though you never got to meet her in this lifetime. I appreciate the conversations we have about her and what life might be like for her in Heaven, as well as at times when you imagine if she had lived and was still here with us.

When you can tell I am sad or feeling anxious, you often hug and comfort me, which I think is so sweet and means a lot.

Life isn’t always easy and you are learning that. You struggle when things don’t go your way (who doesn’t?!) and we continue to work on using your words and asking for help, when you need it, as opposed to whining and crying.

You love to be silly and laugh, which we do a lot of in our family! You are your older brother’s biggest fan, which he surely appreciates.

I am glad that Sean and you get along so well. As one of my biggest fears, with your 6 year age difference, was that wouldn’t be the case.

Family movie and game nights are among your fav things, most recently you learned to play checkers (in NYC’s Central Park) and are getting better at the many card games our Axe and Benson families enjoy!

You adore your grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We are grateful to live close, so that you (and we) can spend as much time with them as we get to, including fun times at the Lake in Michigan and Evanston Adventure Days in the summer, as well family gatherings for holidays and birthday celebrations.

You especially enjoyed our extended Benson family cousins’ camping trip last Fall and keep asking when we will do it again. We definitely need to plan another camping trip soon, even if it’s just the four of us.

I feel blessed and lucky everyday that you are my daughter.

I hope eight is a truly great year in your life!

I look forward to watching you continue to learn and to grow, as the smart, creative and beautiful young lady that you are.

Happy Birthday, my dear Abigail Grace!


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