When I became a parent, those early days felt like they would go on forever. I never imagined how fast the years would pass and that I would find myself with a double-digit kid in no time. And yet, last week, that’s exactly what happened. My oldest daughter celebrated her tenth birthday and I was, to be quite honest, in disbelief.
And, in awe.
As I reflect on the years gone by and the person she is becoming, I couldn’t be more proud. She is such a lovely person, friend and sister.
Watching her grow into the person she’ll be is something I genuinely look forward to, but I am also sad that the years have passed so quickly.
Anyone else feel the same about their kids? It’s so bittersweet.
So, with that in mind, I wanted to take the time to reflect on the last ten years and share some of my favorite summer photos. The photos that defined each turning year of her life. So here goes.
Your first summer was the first few months of your life. It was a whirlwind of moving, (your first as a military child), and travel so we could introduce you to family.
I may or may not have dressed you like a watermelon for the family picnic we had in honor of your birth.
You were not impressed.
Your second summer, we introduced to the ruffle-butt bikini. It was a bigger hit in your mind, at least it seemed so.
Your little chubby baby legs and rolls made this suit even more adorable. And, don’t get me started on those precious dimples that started to make their appearance.
Your third summer brought the ringlets some toddler chatter and lots of affection. Add in your big beautiful eyes and little lips and you were melt-my-heart adorable.
Our fourth summer together, you were developing into a lovely child who was friendly, funny and so sweet. You were three years old, and starting to copy mommy a bit.
Summer five we moved to Hawaii. You were four, loved the outdoors, the beach and your neighborhood friends who were all so much older than you, but loved having you around. You even wrapped the adults around your adorable little finger. You would greet them as they came home from work and they would give you hugs each day. It was such a sweet thing to watch unfold.
Your sixth summer was the summer you were officially entrenched in all things ‘Big Sister’ because your twin sisters were born. You were starting to develop a sense of humor and sarcasm and yet your light always showed through your smile and kind demeanor.
You have always been so full of life and laughter. Your strength and resolve during our hospital months with your sisters was remarkable and we were in awe of your grace through that time.
By summer seven, we were back on the mainland and your long locks were replaced with shorter. You’re not a fan of the hair brush (even to this day), so this made sense for all. You also began putting your own outfits together, which made for some colorful ensembles.
To this day, you have a very distinct style. And, I’ve learned to give you an ‘out’ if something I picked up for you doesn’t work. You hate to make me feel bad when I’ve made a purchase that doesn’t work for you. It’s such an endearing quality, but I encourage you to tell me anyway. My hope is that by speaking up to me, while done respectfully, it will help you feel confident enough to speak up to others as needed.
Your patience and love for your family was, and continues to be remarkable.
By age eight, you were beginning to think of others as well. This lemonade and coffee stand below yielded over eighty dollars for a local family in need. Your idea.
It was a lovely, lovely sentiment and made our hearts swell with pride.
Your ninth year of life and tenth summer in our life reminded us that you are still a love bug and we are so grateful for that. You’re growing each day, your interests are your own, your opinions are becoming more defined, but you are still very much blessing our life with your presence and light.
This year you turned ten. You are officially in the double-digits. You love big. Think big, and quite simply make our world a better place to be by being the person you are. You work hard, love big and make us so proud. We can’t wait to see what unfolds in the summers ahead.
It’s amazing how fast time flies. So many happy summers. So many happy years with you.
Want to celebrate #SummerHappy with us?
Team Happy Mamas has a fantastic giveaway going on!
The entire Happy Mama’s Team is encouraging happy summer adventures by asking you so share your #SummerHappy with us on Instagram.
You can enter ONE photo each day with the hashtag #SummerHappy via our favorite photo social sharing app, Instagram, between now and August 1st for a chance to win a $110 Target gift card