Thursday, December 2, 2004

Not All Washed Out

It's been a day of ups and downs.

The downs were out of our control. Typhoon Nanmadol is blowing through (it's 10 p.m. now and the winds are blustering), following two other typhoons that have come through parts of the Philippines in the past seven days and left hundreds dead from flooding and mudslides. It didn't actually hit our neighborhood until early evening, but the kids had off from school because of the Storm Signal 2 that was announced late last night.
Because of the storm, Katherine's class didn't get to go on their field trip to a local school. She was totally bummed.
And because of the storm, I didn't get to see a friend before she leaves the country tomorrow.
And because of the storm, Rebecca didn't get to celebrate her birthday with her classmates. Wednesday night we'd made cupcakes and were all set to bring then in to share this morning.
So there's the big Up, amazingly Rebecca has turned Seven. On Thanksgiving I was remarking to one of our friends that while Rebecca was turning seven she had just begun to fit comfortably into six. She's young for her age and always has been.
Ten days ago she made a count down chart and has been announcing the days remaining. Ian has asked her each day if she knew the difference between right and wrong, recalling that seven is the age of reason. He was kidding with her that she wouldn't be allowed to turn seven if she didn't know, and once she did turn seven she wouldn't be allowed to do wrong anymore. While we were mostly joking, she got the point that it's time to do some growing up.
Then this morning Ian and I looked at each other and said "She... looks older."
She honestly does. I think it had a lot to do with her demeanor, knowing it was her day, knowing that she was growing up a bit more, knowing that she is indeed special.
We managed to eat some of her party cupcakes, the tree went up (what else do you do while housebound in December? though we usually wait until Saint Nicholas Day on the 6th) and the blue and white lights went on. The girls hung bead ropes on the tree in a unique design. Though the tree blinks hideously, the kids love it, and so it stays. Becca and I played Stratego and she almost beat me. A good mom would have let her have the win, I know. We drew pictures together, hers was Santa's sleigh being pulled by flying elephants, Nicholas's was of our Christmas tree. Jonathon's is very blue but I can't quite make out what it is though he said it was a box. We watched Rebecca's choice of "The Secret Garden" and after dinner, of course, present time. Her sister had bought her a shiny red bead bracelet at the ISM Filipiniana Tiangge. Katherine always picks great gifts for Rebecca and it's obvious she loves her, for even in the e-card Katherine wrote:
Dear Rebecca,
A very happy birthday to you!!!
I still love you, even if you are very annoing.
All together now... Awwww. Ok, maybe that's a stretch. But the degree to which the two of them are getting along, holding hands in the mall, chatting together, etc. It's almost enough to make one think they are in cahouts about something. That or they actually do like each other. Could it be?
From mom and dad she received a scrapbook starter kit with a new camera. And from grandma and grandpa she has a new ballet bag for her outfit and shoes, and a new Checkers board game. We said that if the power is out tomorrow, it'll be the first game played in the morning.
You might be wondering why I said "amazingly" earlier in this entry. Rebecca isn't the easiest kid to get along with sometimes. She is a defiant manipulator with more than little white lies. There were days I didn't know if she'd make it to her next birthday. OK, that's exaggerating but you get the drift. Some days she can be really hard to like. Today was not one of those days. Today she was everything I could imagine her to be... a good sister, a wonderful daughter, an artist, a fair player, gracious and all this with a glowing smile and the ability to make us laugh. She made me proud to be her mom.
Now the hard part. How to get it out of her mind that because tomorrow is the 2nd in the States that she gets to have a second birthday and turn Eight right away?

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