Every parent says it: "Where does the time go?" I've been asking myself this question since the day Alyssa turned thirteen - that golden age of transition. Six years later, a few harrowing moment, a lot of wonderful memories, and at least a million "I love yous," she turned nineteen - that wonderful age of almost there... almost an adult... almost done with the business of growing up. And still I ask, "Where did the time go?" Because as I see it, she's so close to being there - the adult she so wants to be.
As we celebrated her nineteenth birthday yesterday, I was on an emotional roller-coaster - smiling one moment, and crying the next. The smile was my joy - the joy of who she was and who she has become. The tears were because I was remembering the day she was born, and although it was almost two decades ago, it remains one of my favorite lifetime moments. I kept thinking about how tiny she was that long ago day. And I remembered feeling so helpless as the doctor placed her in my arms; I remembered the overwhelming feeling of love that encompassed my entire being; and I remembered thinking she is my reason for life. And as I recalled all those emotions, I realized that I still feel helpless as a mother, and that overwhelming feeling of love that encompassed my soul - it has only grown stronger. So I guess the tears were joyful, in spite of my constant desire for a do-over because, as I've said many times before, I'm still not ready to say good-bye to my baby girl.
We didn't have a birthday party for Alyssa this year (she said she was too old for that), but we did honor her day by making a special birthday dinner, eating a beautiful cake, and taking the annual birthday photos.
As Alyssa was reviewing the options for her special dinner menu, John, Jeff and I were all holding our breath with anticipation because she is now a vegetarian (Jeff calls her Edgy the Veggie), and the rest of us are still meat eaters. Some of the things she comes up with are not our idea of "celebratory" meals! This year, she decided on Ratatouille. None of us have ever eaten Ratatouille, but it sure is fun to say! And once Jeff put it together (based upon a recipe she provided), we all decided that it looks really pretty on the grill. In the end, it was a delightful celebration dinner. Thankfully, Jeff added some chicken for John and me because we tend to like our protein in the form of meat. We also like cake - thankfully, we all agree on that since no animals were killed in the process <--- yes, we hear this speech a lot, and she is doing a pretty good job of swaying each of us to begin thinking her way, but I doubt any of us will ever have the passion for the subject that she has come to find. Go Alyssa... passion is good!
Here are the pictures from the celebration meal and the annual photo shoot - it was a good day all the way around!
And now... let's talk about Fiskars! The company is 360 years old this year. Amazing! Lucky me, as one of the Nifty Fifty Fiskateers I had the opportunity to work with one of the Lead Fiskateers, Wendy Jo Avey, at the GASC Crop Party last weekend where we celebrated everything Fiskars. It was a wave of orange all the way around and I had the time of my life meeting new friends and sharing the Fiskars love. It doesn't get much better than that when it comes to working an event (I don't even think of it as work when it is that much fun).
We began the evening by giving away Fiskars products to everyone who attended the crop. Almost every single person had at least one Fiskars tool in their crop bag, and it was clear to see that crafters the world over love Fiskars products:
After the general give-away, Wendy Jo held drawings and gave away products to the Fiskateers who were in attendance. We managed to get a nice group photo after everyone ogled their new goodies:
And to complete the GASC Fiskars Birthday Bash, we ate cake, because... really... no birthday party is complete without cake!
I like cake! Alyssa's cake, Fiskars cake, any kind of cake. Cake is good. It makes me happy and says happy birthday like nothing else. And so although I have no more cake to eat, I once again wish a happy birthday to my special daughter, and a very happy 360th year to Fiskars.