Sunday, May 05, 2013

My Birthday Girl

My baby turned 3 years old today.

I'm full of thoughts about how sad it is to know I'm done with babies, and how awesome it is to watch her grow.  She is an amazing little spirit, so peaceful and resilient, so friendly and confident.  She blesses everyone around her, and she fully completes this family.

I also keep thinking about how far she has gone in her few short years.  She was born in Shanghai.  Within her first year, she moved into a hotel, then to Shenzhen, then into another hotel in Falls Church, Virginia.  We moved to Arlington soon after her first birthday, and then moved here to Caracas a few months ago.  She tallies 6 addresses, 5 cities and 3 countries on 3 continents.

With such change, I can't help but compare her life to the rest of our family.
When I turned 3, I had lived in the same house my whole life.  I was a year away from beginning preschool.  My grandparents lived either in town, or on a farm a few hours away.  I saw them either weekly or monthly.
When Dave turned 3, he had lived in the same house his whole life.  He never went to preschool.  Most of his family - grandparents and cousins - lived less than 3 hours away and they were a regular part of his life.
When Lilly turned 3, we had lived in Shanghai for 1 year.  In the week before her birthday, we changed house and she began preschool.  She was in her 3rd address and 2nd city.
When Sophia turned 3, we lived in a charming little lane house in the French Concession of Shanghai.  She had been in preschool for 3 months already, and it was a 5 minute walk away from our house.  I was 4 months pregnant.  She was in her 4th address and 2nd city.
Today, Annika lives on the 6th floor of a condo in a hilly suburb of Caracas.  Her sisters go to school, but she does not - and I haven't decided whether or not she'll start in the fall.  I'm not ready to give up my little girl.

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