Monday, June 27, 2016
This girl turned 9 and I can't comprehend it.
Babyhood, the delights of 1, the terrible 2's, the fuck-you 3's, the peace of 5 - these are all well-documented stages that one reads about as your child grows. One anticipates, prepares, lives through them when they happen like that, fret if they don't because why is yours doing it differently?
Then there's tweens and teenagers and in fact, tweenagers these days apparently - all of which seem some part of a murky undefinable future.
But right now it feels like we've wandered off the map, into uncharted territory where anything is possible - and it's kind of lovely.
She's still a kid, very much, still playful and innocent and prone to flights of fantasy. But she's also reading 700+ page Harry Potter books and asking big questions about the world and occasionally falling victim to hormone-charged outbursts and irrationality. She's a growing, learning, questioning human being, and she's divine.
Frieda's birthday wish was to take a small group of friends to Eagle Encounters.
It was really fun hanging out with her buddies - entertaining and kind, this age is good for that too - no one needed their bum wiped, no disputes needed parental arbitration - just sweet kids full of chat and laughs and opinions.
We had a great time roaming the grounds in the winter chill, having a picnic in the car park (because we're too stingy to pay for the over-priced picnic baskets full of things the kids won't eat) and dodging the intermittent showers. During one of them we sheltered under some (luckily not-whomping) willows while Frieda's friend Seth serenaded us - A Wonderful World sung by a completely un-self-conscious 9 year old boy. It felt like a magic moment in time.
And of course, the birds! The birds were magnificent.
An enormous collection of rescued and rehabilitated birds - some of whom will be released into the wild, some of whom are too damaged or tame to make it on their own. It was such a privilege to see these magnificent fowl up close, many of which live among us but we hardly ever see. We learnt so much and ALL enjoyed it thoroughly.
Then home for owl and eagle cupcakes, a romp around the garden and the now traditional G'nT's and snacks for the parents long into the evening. A different kind of party from the ones we've thrown in the past - but just as lovely. Uncharted territory is fun!