Friday, January 7, 2011


As a mom I feel like I should say, "I can't believe my baby girl is already six!" but I can. In fact, I often wonder if I missed a year because she has always seemed about a year ahead of her age. She is my kindergartner who is having no problem with her first grade curriculum. She is an avid reader; passionate about science and history. Her ability to be uninhibited in her question asking and exploration leads to quick knowledge and by the grace of God- a dose of wisdom to accompany it.

Last month she brought her brothers and a jar outside to collect sap while S. put up Christmas lights. S. said, "Darla- that sap will make a huge mess."
"But Dad, we need to collect it for animal food."
"Darla, no animals eat sap."
She raised her eyebrows and said, "Yes huh, Dad. Pygmy marmosets eat sap."
"What are pygmy marmosets?"
With an I-can't-believe-you-don't-know-this sigh she said, "The smallest monkey!"
Which was followed by S. giving me the I-can't-believe-she-knows-this-stuff look.
I returned the look when she made up a song about a butterfly hair clip in the bathroom and one of the lines had to do with "hiding from a predator- this butterfly doesn't want to be prey."

In reflecting on Darla's year and her character...I've realized that much of who she is came out in the party she planned for her sixth birthday. She decided that one of the important components of her party would be a "breakable doll party" with girls because for Christmas she received her first porcelain doll- a very big deal.

The week before the party Darla said, "We'll have it in a flower garden."
"Uh...Darla? It's January. There aren't flowers and there's no way we can sit outside in fancy clothes."
She was disappointed so we set to work making a flower garden. She was proud and I'm thinking it might be awhile before I can take it down.
The morning of her birthday, Darla chose one of her gifts to let her brothers open for her. She can be bossy but this little girl loves her brothers and can't stand it if they feel left out.
One of Darla's birthday requests was that she could have 'special time' with Beppe (my mom) to get her ears pierced. My mom took her the afternoon of her birthday and Darla sat on her lap, squeezed her hands and later told me, "I only cried for 3 seconds."
Darla loves food. We've worked hard with her this year to help her evaluate, "Do you really want a third bowl of oatmeal? What is your tummy saying?" Finally, she will stop herself in asking for seconds, cock her head as though she's listening to her stomach, and then inform us, "I think my tummy wants just a little more."

Cupcakes are standard for our birthday parties but Darla requested "chocolate cake with pink frosting and a 6 on it." She is also very affirming and told me, "Mom- it's the prettiest cake I ever saw."
Darla told her girl cousins to come to her 'breakable doll party' the morning after her everyone-inclusive McDonalds party. She said, "They can wear the fanciest dress they have at their house. They should get their hair "fanced up" and wear jewels if they want. Tell them to bring a breakable doll."
Darla's outfit of new tennis shoes with her dress perfectly depicts her personality- girly with a streak of tomboy.

After everyone left and just Darla and I were left in the house, we flopped down at the table. I said, "Wow, Darla. What a party. I'm wiped out."
She said, "I could go for more cake."
My "no-to-more-sweets" was on auto-pilot but I recanted, grabbed 2 forks, and kicked off her year with cake for lunch.
Last year I prayed that Darla's creativity would flourish, that she would not fear taking risks, and that her heart would be tender to the Lord.
I am thanking the Lord that He clearly answered all of those prayers. Her creativity has been at the forefront through her birthday celebrations. It was a risk to throw her into first grade without doing kindergarten, ballet, and a busy schedule. She's been courageous and willing. This year she asked the Lord to come in her heart and has taken her commitment very seriously.

My prayer for Darla's next year is that God would continue giving her sensitivity to Him. I pray that she will know His voice, pour out her heart to Him, and see Him working in her life.

Happy Birthday, Darla Jules!

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post Shilo! I so enjoyed reading this, your daughter is precious and you are an amazing mama! Thank you for sharing.