Sweet “P”


On Friday it will be my niece, Sweet P’s, 8th birthday. I still can’t believe that the little girl I watched cling to life with tiny, birdlike fingers will be turning 8! The little girl who arrived three months early, weighing just over 2lbs is now the tallest girl in her class. How does that happen? Yesterday she came over to tell me all about her birthday party and how she is inviting her entire class (even the boys!) to a bowling party. She was so excited and practically spilling over with joy at the thought of a birthday party. She clutched the bright pink Hello Kitty invitations in her hands and the happiness danced in her eyes.

I couldn’t help but let the tiny thoughts of fear sneak into my mind, as they so often do when moments of pure joy engulf us. Because with excitement comes disappointment. What if the boys create trouble? What if the girls create drama? What if not everyone comes to little Sweet P’s party? I know that the path ahead of her will inevitably be filled with stones. She’ll trip and fall. She may even get hurt. We all do. It is inevitable in life that you fly and you fall, peaks and valleys. But when looking at her innocent, joyful face, I want nothing more than to protect her from anything and everything dark and cloudy. But I know I can’t do this, in the same way my mother couldn’t do it for me and I won’t be able to do it for my children. We have to let our loved ones fall because only when they fall do they learn how to pick themselves up and keep moving forward, climbing towards the next peak (or in this case, Hello Kitty birthday party).

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