I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville writer with a passion for family travel, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark. Want to get in touch? Use the CONTACT form at the top of the page.
April 9, 2012
One year ago today, Punky, you turned seven.
And while I’m supposed to lament how quickly the days have passed since April 9th, 2011, honestly that day seems like a lifetime ago. Back then, you see, you were still our little girl– still not really comprehending so much of what was going on around you. 365 days later, you’re light years away from that child. You’re older, wiser, full of deep thoughts, big words, and a budding sense of humor. You’ve come so far and matured so fast that it’s hard to believe only one year has gone by since you were blowing out the candles on that birthday cupcake.
Seven was a year of continued exploration for you and I loved being part of it. Together, we watched caterpillars turn into butterflies, scheduled playdates, caught toads, read books, braved a cicada invasion, went to festivals…
dug in the sand for razor clams, went shark fishing, attended puppet shows, blew bubbles, planted a garden, drew pictures, set out teeth for the tooth fairy…
made fudge, danced at twilight, visited children’s museums and Holiday World and Chattanooga and Gatlinburg and Disney World, and so very much more.
Throughout your seventh year, you displayed selfless generosity, sensitivity, thoughtfulness, and deep concerns. Your father and I both realized while you were seven that your innocence and depth of caring was a rare and precious thing, and something we’ll go to great lengths to protect.
Much of that caring was directed toward your little brother. At seven, you had a major impact on Bruiser, inspiring him to learn to read, write and count and to be loving and kind. The tender connection between the two of you continued to amaze your father and me. Sure, you fight a lot but he’s also your very best friend and it amazed me to see constant evidence of how much you loved each other. I was so impressed by the way you continued to include him in your play, even when your own friends came over (and even though, I have to admit, he could be sometimes be very, very annoying).
You soared intellectually at seven. You loved learning new things at school and you adored your teacher. I did, too- She had you tested for the gifted program when you turned seven and those enrichment classes have opened new doors in your mind and fed your thirst for knowledge. At seven, you also became a bona fide bookworm, and read so many books that we began having to make two trips to the library per week just so that you wouldn’t run out of reading material.
Emotionally, though, you were still very much a little girl. Your friends began to talk about boys, but you were positively, absolutely NOT INTERESTED. You also bowed out of your friends’ sleepovers, telling them without shame that you’re just not ready to spend the night away from your family. (You know this because you tried it once.) I for one have been thrilled that you’re a late bloomer– There’s plenty of time to grow up and I’m so glad that at seven, you were in no particular rush to do it. That didn’t mean that you weren’t willing to try new things, though.
After years of terror, you faced your fears and finally learned to swim — even agreeing to your swim teacher’s requests to let her take your picture underwater. But the biggest reason I’ll never forget your seventh year is this …
While the water was cold and you were nervous, you had read your Jesus Storybook Bible three times through and were utterly determined to go through with it. As your mom, I can’t imagine ever being prouder of you or happier for you than I was at that moment.
Yes, Punky, seven was a wondrous year. When I tucked you in last night and you asked me, as you always do, what I had liked best about you that day, I got a little choked up when I answered.
“What I liked best about you,” I said, “was thinking about what a wonderful year this has been, and all the amazing things you’ve done, and how much you’ve grown. You’ve been the best seven-year-old I could possibly ask for, Punky,” I told her, wiping away tears. “And I have to say I’m a little sad that you’re turning eight.”
You put your hand on mine comfortingly. “I’m a little sad, too,” you said confidingly. “I think seven is the best year there is.” You thought for a moment. “Seven and 13,” you said. “After that, I’m pretty sure you start thinking about boys all the time.”
I stifled a giggle and we said our good nights… and when you woke up the next morning, you were eight.
You are eight and already looking older and more mature. You are eight and you are purely, undeniably wonderful. I can’t believe God has allowed me to be your mother, Punky — You are so much more than I ever hoped for in a daughter. Thank you for being you- compassionate, confident, quirky, profound, loving, loyal, thoughtful you.
I can’t wait to see what you accomplish this year.
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What beautiful memories you have together. You are certainly blessed, because no matter how the years may pass by, no one could ever take those memories away. 🙂
Happy birthday Punky!
Such a beautiful post for a beautiful girl. Happy Birthday to Punky!
That was such a wonderful post about Punky! What a sweet and beautiful little girl. I know you are so proud. 🙂
Wow! She is looking so grown up. I am so happy to hear that she isn’t ready for boys yet. There is so much time for that 🙂 Great job, mom! You are raising a great girl! Happy birthday, Punky!
Such a loving tribute to a beautiful girl! My daughter turns 7 today and you expressed so many similar sentiments.
So beautiful! It gives me hope to get through these toddler years.
I can tell you from experience that every year just gets better… until puberty. 😉
She is just precious, and beautiful!
She’s beautiful. Happy birthday, Punky!
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