My Aunt Debbie turned 60-years-old this past week and my cousin Jed and Uncle Tom threw her a surprise party this weekend! We loved celebrating with her, and I know we made the right choice in choosing to attend: Katie had also received her first invitation to a birthday party for a little girl in our music class, but the two events conflicted. It was finally resolved in our hearts to honor our family before our friends. I was proud of my girl, who chose our family first, when I had and heart-to-heart with her and asked her where her heart's desire lay (prefaced by the caveat that mommy would make the final decision). She had a child's clarity about it that was refreshing, and in being with my aunt yesterday and watching the friendship between Katie and her cousins, I knew our hearts led us true.
So many aspects of the birthday party were witness to this: Aunt Debbie's joy in seeing everyone, Katie and Violet laughing as they played with Jed and me outside, a slide show showing Aunt Debbie's life and the realization that yes, "the seasons, they go round and round/and the painted ponies go up and down..." and that we are in the season of watching our childhood recede and our mothers take up the mantle of grandmotherhood.
We are thankful for this time with our family, and a weekend filled with cousins on both sides of our family. I cannot state enough how grateful I am to my parents and my aunts and uncles for solidifying in our youth the bonds of family and the friendship among us all. May those bonds and friendships last us through our lives.