Birthday Weekend

This weekend was bookended by two birthdays – Emily’s and my brother Caleb’s.

Emily turned 11 on Friday (and saying that just kills me) and spent the day swimming and enjoying a visit with her BFF Jasmine.  Those two were in kindergarten together and took an immediate liking to each other.  Jasmine even convinced her father and step mother to name her youngest sister Emily!

Emily & Jasmine at birthday number…..6?  7?  I can’t recall.

I am still working on Emily’s petticoat skirt – I don’t think there’s enough chiffon for it, even though I ordered the 8 yards called for in the pattern.  We’ll have to see how short I am and then I’ll be ordering more.

Emily’s always been my kindred spirit.  She’s artistic,sensitive, emotional, an animal lover, and a knitter.

Not that I haven’t had my trying times with her.  She was the only one of my children who decided that the solid matter in her diaper made a great paint for her crib and the walls.  She’s also the only one of my children to ever sleep in a crib.

Emily made us grateful for modern medicine in a way we never thought we would be.  When she was 5, she came down with a severe case of pneumonia / empyema that required a lengthy hospital stay and two surgeries.  She still bears the scars from the drainage tubes that were attached to her for almost a week.

Emily also taught us to be better listeners.  After a few weeks of telling us in a casual and funny  way that she had rocks in her ears (Hey!  I have rocks in my ears!!!)  she went to the doctor for a bout of fever / nausea where the doctor discovered that she did, in fact, have a small rock in one of her ears.

Emily is our chicken whisperer.  No one takes it harder than her when one of them is sick or injured, and no one is able to commune with them the way she can.  One of our hens used to ride on her shoulder!  Of course, all of the chicken wrangling and sensitivity have translated into a vow of vegetarianism.  She hasn’t eaten chicken in almost a year and gave up all other meats this spring.  While it’s not always easy to accommodate in this family of meat – eaters, she manages well and has our full support. Part of homeschooling her this year will involve teaching her how to prepare vegetarian meals that will fulfill her nutritional needs.

Then there is my brother, for whom I can somehow find no embarrassing childhood pictures at the moment.  He’s 7 years younger than me and our relationship has not always been easy.  We had some spectacular fights.  Picture an incredibly clever, quick witted 6 year old who knows all of your buttons (oh wait…..I have a couple of those now….).

He’s still incredibly clever and quick – witted.  He’s also one of the funniest people I know.  He sings like a rock star and has way more artistic talent than I could ever dream of.

Stories and jokes he tells me always make me laugh, even months later.  Sometimes no one else gets our humor, but that’s ok.  We’ve grown into siblings that get each other and that has made all the difference.  I love that whenever my kids do something weird, geeky or off – beat I can always say Your uncle KB would be so proud!!!

Happy birthday to two of my favoritest people.  I love you both.

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