There's something so beautifully liberating and, dare I say, healthy, in the way children experience birthdays. There's no petty anxiety about aging yet another year (on the contrary: the fuss is all about aging another year), no gloom about all the things not yet ticked off our lifetime to-do list, and no panic-inducing social obligations. There's just a mounting excitement that begins weeks before the fact, and culminates in an awesome, unashamed celebration 'of me, for me' however it happens, whenever it happens (usually all day), and with whomever is near enough to be caught up in the festivities.
I got to see this first hand recently as our not-so-little Jorja prepared for her fifth birthday. We could hardly believe this was the same child who last year, while on holiday in the UK with her family, nearly had her birthday come and go without even noticing! In true Jorja fashion, we were told at least three weeks ago already "it's my birthday soon - 5th June", and so the story continued "one more week... three more sleeps...tomorrow!" until it erupted in full force yesterday when we arrived at the du Plessis' home and Jorja yelled to me from the bath "aunty Robyn, come in here, it's my birthday today!".
This girl. She's a volcano of love and energy, with a brain that works overtime, and a mouth to match! She's crawled into the deepest place of our hearts, and could singlehandedly hold our extended family together (or hostage!) if she had to. She an affectionate daughter, protective sister and doting cousin. She's everyone's favourite (not-so) little girl.
Sweet Jorja, we wish you a year full of love, happiness and many blessings. We love you so very much!