I will never forget cutting into the gender reveal cake and seeing the pink frosting peeking out between the layers. You would think that after having a boy first, I would be thrilled to have a girl. That’s what everyone was hoping for, another girl to balance the family and dress in pink with huge bows and sparkles. But I was both shocked and a little disappointed. I thought for sure it was a boy and I felt comfortable with that. Having Jonah had taught me how to dress, diaper, and interact with a boy and I was having a blast with him. A girl? That was intimidating.
Now, four years later, I am so very grateful for that pink frosting.
My sweet and sassy Haven Ellen has taught me so much and brought such joy and sweetness to our lives. I thought I had to teach her how to be a girl. There would be dressing her picture perfect, making sure she always had a matching bow in her perfectly styled hair, adorning her room with all things pink and feminine, teaching her to play with dolls, making sure she was everything that girls are supposed to be. What I didn’t know was that she was already her own version of “girl” and she was exactly perfect without my interference.
Yes, nine times out of ten, you will find her dressed very feminine with styled hair and matching bow, but that is because that is what she wants. It makes her happy to have her braids, or her twisties (buns), and twirlly skirts with matching bows. That’s just her. However, you will find an entire collection of Disney princess dolls in her room that are untouched and ignored. Next to those dolls, you will find a few baby dolls which are in use, but only because Laelynn loves them. Haven has no interest in dolls of any sort. She will tell you that she is a mom though, and she does take her baby everywhere she goes. Her baby rides in the car with us, sits in a bouncy seat, rides in a doll stroller, and is fed plastic toy food and bottles. Her “baby” is a stuffed Marie kitty cat from the Aristicats movie. Haven is a self-declared cat mama.
You will also find her having lightsaber fights with her brother while dressed up in a tutu with hot pink heels on, squishing bugs, or starting deep, lengthy conversations with strangers. She is a one-of-a-kind mix of bravery, sweetness, tenacity, and joy. From the time she could walk, she was taking on every challenge in her path and overcoming them with enthusiasm. Fiercely independent, she prides herself on doing everything by herself and will quickly correct you for helping when it’s not needed.
As tough as all that sounds though, she is also the sweetest and most compassionate person I have ever met. She feels immediate empathy for anyone around her and will give of herself or her possessions to comfort you. Many times, when big brother gets in trouble, you will find her putting herself in time-out next to him or trying to console him. I always tell her that she is beautiful because her heart is beautiful, I hope she always remembers that.
This weekend, she turned four years old. We celebrated at the park because she had requested a kitty party at the playground. We all had a blast swinging and sliding and blowing bubbles and eating her favorite snacks and chocolate cake. The biggest surprise of the day was her gift from mommy and daddy, a framed picture of her very own, new baby kitty! I found a local kitty rescue and connected with a foster who was caring for a kitten that was made for Sassy. She is super tiny and sweet with a very social personality…sound familiar? Hahaha! Nana asked Haven what she would name her new kitty and Haven declared her name to be “Sally”. The next day after church and birthday tacos at Moes, we got to visit Sally and there was lots of love between the two of them. It will be another couple weeks before Sally is big enough to be spayed and can come home, but she will be worth the wait.
Happy fourth birthday, my sweet sassy girl! Daddy and I are so very proud of your courage and your sweet spirit. Be proud of yourself and know that you are a strong, smart girl who can do anything you set your mind to. Never lose your compassion for others and never let anyone tame your joy. Stay just as you are, a wonderful ray of sunshine. Keep singing, keep smiling, keep kicking booty!
Kitty Party at Lettuce Lake Park
Sunday: Birthday Tacos and Meeting Sally