Today was R.'s 12th birthday. We began the day with our traditional birthday breakfast of donuts, and then the festivities continued. If you weren't aware, today was Free Comic Day, a day my children look forward to all year long. G. and L. had even picked out special clothes to wear for the occasion. (No, I don't know why, other than it was an occasion.) So, after breakfast, while I taught, J. took the younger half on a walk to the local comic book shop. Having arrived early, they all came home with more than a few comic books. R. even got one that could be colored in, which thrilled her to no end.
For her birthday dinner, we decided to get Chinese take-out. She loves Chinese food more than anything, though we have yet to find the food she doesn't like. We knew this would make her happy, and it did. This was followed by cake (store bought, because they are fancy) and presents.
TM holding her birthday candles. (We didn't put the on them cake, because we learned our lesson last year. She has a little difficult with blowing and it makes the cake seem just a little less appetizing.)
Blowing out her candles.
The hand is J., as he help direct her efforts to blow out the second candle. She actually blew them both out on her own this year, something she couldn't manage last year.
She received some clothes. I don't know if you can see her expression here, but it was pretty cute.
And the highlight of the gifts, a Fisher Price 'Codeapillar' It is a noisy toy, but I'm hoping that it will get her to play with it. It moves different ways depending on how you put the sections (connected by USB connector) together. I'll be curious how she does with it. She was more than a little overcome by it. First she shrieked and waved her arms all about, and then put her head in her hands and just stared.
I think she likes it.
And there was a Play-Doh set from Grammy.
R. seemed to enjoy her birthday celebration and her gifts. After dinner, when people were washing up and getting ready for bed, R. comes down to the dining room where I was packing some china, and says, "Mommy, me happy!" There was something about this sentence that seemed like one of the first truly genuine statements I've heard her make. Maybe we're all getting somewhere.
So Happy Birthday, my dear child. I truly do hope you are happy here. I want so much for you. I don't really care how much you learn or accomplish, but I want you to know you are a person, a beloved daughter, someone who can have ideas and thoughts and influence your world. I want you to feel safe and loved. I wish I could go back and erase the trauma and neglect of your past, but I can't, but I hope we can redeem what was lost in the years to come.