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Lessons From My Seven Year Old

The clock ticked to midnight last night as we drove home, a car full of sleeping, Halloween-sugar-drunk children.

The alarm on Vinnie’s phone went off, alerting us to Lila’s Birthday, Location: Princess Land.

Is that where we are now? Princess land?

There as we through the fog and haze of the witching first few minutes of All Saints Day, we did what husbands and wives do – we remembered aloud to each other the moments that only we can remember.

The ride to the hospital. The bright sunny room. The gentle footsteps, the walking in and out of my mother. The slumber before the storm.

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We remembered aloud, the day our family grew, the day our hearts grew by eight more pounds. The day we first met this little girl who would force us to rewrite parenting, over and over again (because a miniature Alex, she is not.)

In seven years, Lila has been inspiration and frustration. She has been sweetness and mud, bravery and tears. But she has never been anything less than or other than herself.

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I hope that she realizes, as much as she follows me – I am, in many ways, a thirty-something woman just wanting to follow her.

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Say what you think.

Be who you are.

Don’t just sit in a place, dwell.

Make everything you touch, be touched by you.

Make people smile.

Laugh when it hurts. But cry if you need, too.

Live your life out loud. It’s the only way you’ll ever be heard.

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So thankful for seven years of you, Lila Bean.

Happy Birthday.

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