A brief interruption in my very slow posting of our summer adventures to acknowledge that my Hazel turned 11 today. ELEVEN years old.
I knew the minute I looked into those pool blue baby eyes that crammed inside that tiny body was a deep and wise and old soul. A huge soul, ready to break loose into the world and tilt it on its axis.
Today Hazel was the DJ in the car on the way to school. She chose “Fight Song” (isn’t that the greatest song?) and I started telling her about how I got to swim in the ocean while listening to that song this summer. I only had to say a few words about that experience of fighting the waves with that music blaring in my ears and she flashed me a look of total understanding. An “I get how cool that was for you mom” look. A look that suddenly, in a flash, reminded me that she is of my blood, my flesh and bone. That, despite all the kerfuffles we have had during these eleven years, despite the yelling matches, the misunderstandings, the mom in training mistakes, she and I are born of the same stuff and sealed together. Our souls are intertwined in a beautiful mess of mistakes and forgiveness, of trial and error and victory that is the very essence of life and growth and joy. I think she saw the tears all welled up in my eyes when I dropped her off and squoze her hand. And I think she knew, without words, what that little interaction uncovered for us. We get each other, our hearts are synched, and beneath the rough patches on this unchartered road there is a solid foundation of love and synchronicity and atonement that will make our any ashes beautiful.
I drove away more grateful than ever that she was sent to me. That I get to live on this earth and experience that kind of bond. That kind of tugging that carves you out and gives you more capacity to feel.
Eleven things I love about my Hazel:
1. She grasps life’s experiences and feels them fully. Nothing inside Hazel’s feeling brain is muted or black and white. It’s all in high contrast, screaming color. She is always the first one in the ocean, loves to walk in pouring rain, to feel the earth beneath her bare feet. She coined the phrase “I FEEL ALIVE!” in our family and patented pose. 2. Hazel is always up for an adventure and is still always reminding me that “It’s all part of the adventure.” I am forever grateful that she is willing to help me make adventures happen in our family. She’s my little partner in crime. 3. Hazel gets beauty. She sees beauty in all kinds of unlikely places and is always pointing it out. Every single time I cut the end off a stalk of celery she grabs the stub and admires the stunning design. She is always creating beautiful things in unique ways. She has an eye for style and design, her own style and design. She isn’t swayed too much by trends, she sets them.
4. Hazel is wicked smart. I think probably too smart for her britches. She is dangerously good at debating her point and convincing us to think about things differently. I can talk to Hazel about nearly anything and she’s right there with me.
5. Hazel knows what she needs and fights for it. Of course, this is hard sometimes as a parent, but I’m realizing that she’s usually spot on.
6. I can totally trust Hazel. She will always tell me the truth. And if she does mess up, she always tells me. This is like gold.
7. Hazel is the best big sister anyone could ever ask for. She is constantly playing imaginative games with Peter and Emmeline, getting everyone organized into super creative activities, making sure that our kids get visits from the tooth fairy and all kinds of other fairies and imaginary friends. She has read half of the Roald Dahl box set to Em and Peter. They are so lucky to have her. There's a reason she came first.
8. Hazel is amazing with little kids. Somehow magically her naturally impatient personality turns utterly patient with children younger than her. They all gravitate towards her. She makes everything fun.
9. Hazel is the most generous person you might ever meet. She rarely has any money in the bank of mom cause she’s always giving it away or buying things for people.
10. Hazel is funny. And she knows how to laugh at herself.
11. Hazel is connected. She feels a strong connection to her Heavenly Father and to the Savior. She has a deeply spiritual soul.
I love you dear Hazel. Thanks for being my soul sister.