On the eve of Nora's 9th, I plugged in the Happy Birthday Lights in the living room-a family ritual. This assured that when Nora rose in the early morning light she would be greeted with the light of the circular letters hanging in the living room.
"Mom, I'm having so much fun!" Nora said so frequently today as we shared the time together with her friends. The later summer sun was kind to us today with temperatures in the 60's on our nearby Mill Bay Beach. With 1 boogie board and 1 kick board shared between 4 kids, they shared chances to briefly ride the gentle waves which rolled up on shore. (The word "crashed" onshore would be an overstatement.) Squeals of delight came from all four kids as they took turns riding the tail end of the waves onto the beach.
I, meanwhile, sat on the beach blanket on the sand and watched Nora innocently run around in such birthday glory. Thinking of how to help her keep her enthusiastic, curious spirit. And how to release expectations for who I think she should be or do and just enjoy every moment of her.
In those tough parenting moments so many of us can relate to, it can be hard to remember to release expectations. But in the glory of the warm sun on the beach, I am reminded how much Nora is loving life and enjoying every chance she has to run in the ocean waves.