Thursday, 26 November 2009

My baby girl is no more. Makaila turns 7!

This time 7 years ago we were rushing around with a little babe, organising citizenship papers, passports, packing and getting used to the whole idea of having a baby girl. She was just 4 weeks old when we flew to Australia, which was kind of daring of us now that I think about it. But then I tempted fate too when I booked ballet tickets for the day she was due. Haha! What baby is born on their due date?
Mum was here helping me with everything and actually thinking back things were pretty calm. We took everything in our stride. It was close, getting the Australian passport was the closest shave, but they rushed it through for us. The poor kid was born stateless, all three of her citizenships had to be applied for. Neither of us were Swedes at the time so I included her in my application the following year, but applying for her Canadian and Australian ones was fairly straightforward.

So now she is 7, and while her life might be light years apart from what mine was at her age, not just because of the geographical differences, I feel like I know what it is like to be her. I remember being a little girl about her age, I remember the joys, the pains, the fears and hopes for the future. For the first time I look at her and I see myself, I recognise her, I recognise where she is at. It's a weird feeling, but its also a comforting feeling. Somehow we are closer.

Makaila was really excited about turning 7, probably even more so because as a November baby she is one of the last in her class to have a birthday. The intake runs from January to February here so some of the kids will turn 8 in about 6 weeks. I remember that feeling too, February babies in Australia are also towards the end of the intake year.

She was doubly excited because this year she was going to celebrate with her best friend from school, born just two days earlier - and in the same hospital too. We can only wonder if we said "hi" to each other passing in the corridors of the ward... The girls have known each for a few years but they were in different groups at daycare and it is only since they started school that they have become really good friends. They are as different in their personalities as in their appearance but they have found each other, and it is lovely to watch the friendship between these gorgeous girls grow.

It is a tradition in Sweden to wake the birthday child (young and old) up by going into their bedroom singing and carrying a cake with candles on it along with their presents. We haven't followed the tradition to its full extent but we do sing for her and she got to open a couple of presents at the breakfast table.

Then it was time for school where they sang for her and gave her a birthday card. The two girls were later celebrated at the after-school care where they sang, ate cake and gave each of them a present, a little rose quartz stone..

Finally an excited child filled with anticipation came home to the rest of her family presents.

Her big present from us was her new bike (thanks to Yvonne and Yvette!!) and she was absolutely thrilled with it - as was her brother who thinks it is just like a motorbike. It has gears on the right handle bar, just like the throttle on a bike, so he is convinced and can't wait for her to grow out of it! I think it is pretty cool that she has a real "Aussie" bike all the way from Melbourne.

She got a book from her bro and a few other bits and pieces from us, packages arrived from Australia from Mormor, as well as her cousin and aunts, and a present from Grandma in Canada.

The day didn't end there, friends knocked at the door to say Happy Birthday and returned again after dinner for a play while the adults got to chat and have a couple of drinks.

The next day was her party where she and her friend were joined by most of the girls from their class. It was a glorious day and the photo of the kids on the trampoline looks surreal after all the gray days in November.
We celebrated with games, present giving, candle-holder decorating and typical Swedish birthday party "cake" - merangue, banana, chocolate sauce and ice-cream. The girls (and a couple of little brothers) had a great afternoon.

We left there in time to come home for a "family" party, with our adopted Swedish families. More celebrations, presents, cake and lots of hugs.

This year's cake was made by her dad. They chose it together, he baked and iced it under her supervision and my guidance. It has become a great birthday tradition with each year being a new design. The kids love looking through the cake books and making their choice as much as the love the finished product. This year the icing was more like cheesecake than in the past and it was pretty good.
The guests enjoyed Ty's freshly baked sour dough too!

I have no doubt that this will be a birthday she will remember, long into her old age. It was an action packed weekend that started Friday night with friends dropping in and ended Sunday night with another friend's birthday party. A fantastic weekend of festivities, fun, friends, food and haha!!, I can't think of any more Fs.

Monday she finally got a chance to get out and ride her bike, and the sun shone in her honor!

My little Makaila with her upturned nose in no longer a baby, a toddler or a little girl, but has grown into a lovely school girl who is a pleasure to spend time with. It is amazing and a joy to watch her grow. She is bright, optimistic and easy-going, stubborn but thoughtful, emotional but rational, both serious and silly. She is a delight - but then I'm her mother right! Haha!, ask me in a couple of years!

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