Self Portraits by Fiona
Fiona turns five tomorrow. Just as with Friend Parties, I doubt I’ll be writing a birthday post for each of our children every year. For one thing, this is going to embarrass them very soon; for another, not many people (aside from their grandparents) are interested in me writing nice things about my kids. It’s boring, and maybe a little braggy.
But right now, you’re going to have to deal with it, because Fiona is turning FIVE. My firstborn, the one who scared us all with her early and dramatic arrival. Of our three daughters, Fiona is the one I still can’t see in her baby pictures. What I mean is: as newborns, Campbell and Georgia looked like themselves — they looked like they do now, only smaller and balder. Perhaps because Fiona was so tiny and fragile, when I look at her baby pictures I can’t see any trace of the tall, strong, beautiful, energetic almost-five-year-old who lives in our house.
Erick will tell you that Fiona is the daughter who is most like me. That’s probably true, poor girl. Of the three, she’s the most sensitive, shy, and nervous, and she’ll probably have to work through the same issues that I did as she grows. She’s a real person, like all of us, with flaws and neuroses to overcome.
But because today is Fiona’s birthday, I’m going to tell you my very FAVORITE thing about Fiona:
She wants to make everything special.
Fiona loves celebrations — holidays, birthdays, any excuse to celebrate — and she’s in her element when she gets to help plan an event. Whether or not the celebration is for her, Fiona has a CONCEPT. She knows exactly what paper goods, food, gifts, and party games should be involved. She wants everything to be fun and beautiful, and to conform to a theme. She wants to make cards, dress up, and play pin-the-SOMETHING-on-SOMETHING (in the past we’ve played, “Pin the tail on the cat,” “Pin the mane on the lion,” “Pin the feather on Pocahontas,” “Pin the seed on the watermelon” — you get the idea).
It’s not just official celebrations, either; Fiona is great at celebrating people, making them feel special just because. I can’t tell you how many times she’s suggested that we send a card to one of her grandmothers, or prompted Erick to buy me flowers, or asked me to bake something for someone we love. When our next-door neighbor cleaned up the bodies of our dead chickens (another story), Fiona — completely unprompted by me — met our neighbor at the door with a little “Valentine” that she’d just whipped up.
I’ve always said that I don’t care if my children are smart, or talented, or beautiful; the most important thing to me is that they grow up to be KIND. So far, it looks like Fiona is heading towards kind, but here’s the best thing about it: I had nothing to do with it. Honestly. Fiona was born this way. It’s a trait that began appearing once she was old enough to start being herself. And that’s why it’s my very favorite thing about Fiona: because it’s nothing I had to teach or nag her about, it’s just who she is.