Today, ended what was my third born’s Golden Year. Maybe you’re like me and need to be told what a Golden Birthday is. Well, it’s when you turn the age of the day you were born. So last summer, our sweet River turned 6 on the 6th and today… was the end of her Golden Year.
A few weeks ago she came to me while I was on the floor loading the dryer and said she was a little sad to turn seven because that meant she would never be six again.
I was a little shocked by the expression of sadness on her face because honestly, one of my favorite things about River is how well she lives in the moment. She never looks behind and is one of the most presently present people I know. Today is her focus and nothing changes that. She wakes up, feet hit the floor and is eager to do whatever today brings with pure joy.
That moment while loading the dryer, made me realize that she at age six, almost seven isn’t immune to the idea that life is fast and we must take notice to all that is happening around us.
So today, July 6th, 2019, I laid my phone down nearly all day. Leaving the house to enjoy the day without it. I relied on friends and Wade to take pictures but I was also determined to take the best snap shots in my mind. I wanted to savor this day like River was going to do.
We woke up to handmade pancakes that I made the day before, went to a cookout where we had cake and ice cream with special friends and opened so many gifts from friends and family who had sent her something special through the mail to open on her special day.
BUT my favorite memory was tonight. I pulled out my phone and we laid on my bed and opened the TimeHop app. We laughed and giggled and snorted as we flipped through years past birthday parties and moments we shared on her birthday.
We laughed at the video that showed her sweet smile while wearing her princess crown to later burning her finger on the candle and crying as the video abruptly stops. We watched that one at least five times. I remember that day so well but had forgotten the tears. I just remember the sweet smiles.
And then the last one…
Every year, on my kids birthday, I share their birth story. I usually have to read their journal the morning before so I can keep all of the stories straight. With 4 kids, I can barely remember birthdays when the doctors office asks, so recalling the exact birth details takes some preparation.
But I stand up, while all of the kids sit on the couch and listen to me recount all of the moments up until their sweet birthday. Their dad always makes it funny with his details and they laugh hard when I show them how I was bent over with contractions. They love hearing how God worked and how each detail of their story is theirs.
Tonight, I reminded her of how she became River Beth. We didn’t know if she was a boy or a girl. We had chosen the name River regardless but because we knew she was a boy, we never really discussed a girl middle name. So the night River was born, July 6th, 2012 at 11:40pm, she went to bed without a middle name. That night I dreamed about how all during labor I wanted to call my mid-wife the name of Beth, even though her name was Mary. I had to literally stop it from rolling off of my tongue several times during delivery. The following day after she was born, I woke up from this dream knowing that God was speaking Beth. But I had to look up the meaning first…
Beth means God’s Daughter.
In this moment, I knew God had given me her full name. Wade agreed and we cuddled our baby girl with her new name knowing that He had prepared the way for her all long.
I wonder if this was the beginning of who she would become later in life. Full trust that God who loves her will lead the day. Not getting too ahead or too behind, but focusing on today. That just like her name, God will give us what we need, when we need it. Not a moment before and not a moment too late, but at just the right time.
As we shared these memories I was reminded once again that every year should feel like a Golden Year. A year of savoring the days as they come and not getting lost in the things that don’t matter. I want to live my days like River Beth.
Happy 7th Birthday, sweet one.