Friday, September 12, 2008

Eleventeen years old

Old soul
Laval, QC
August 2008
[Click to enlarge]

Tuck-in remains my favorite time of the day. You almost feel as if you're putting the brakes on consciousness, deliberately slowing your kids' frenetic lives down just long enough for the sleepies to take over and lull them into sweet dreams.

Last night was Dahlia's last as a ten-year-old, and as she put her music on and arranged her stuffed animals around the edge of her bed just so, I quietly counted how many tuck-ins we had left before she'd decide she was too old for the ritual. But on this night, she was all too happy to have the attention. As was I.

As I kissed her head, I half seriously asked her to stop growing. She laughed and said she couldn't, that she has no control over how fast or how much she grows, that it just happens. Of course she was right. As much as I wish I could slow down her headlong rush away from the peanut she was when we first saw her in an ultrasound image, I know I can't. All I can do is freeze moments like this and hope I'm doing enough to remember them.

Your turn: Remembering the important stuff. Please discuss. (Oh, and if you want to share a birthday wish with our newly-crowned 11-year-old Dahlia, please feel free. She'll read 'em all!)

About this photo: It's a closeup - in support of this week's Thematic Photographic theme - and it's the kind of picture she knows all too well. I've been sticking a lens in her face since she was born. She knows I'll follow her and her brothers around until just the right moment. She's used to being seen through a lens. And as I look through the lens at her, I see more of my wife in her with each passing year. It's a good thing, even if I wish I still had the power to slow down the passage of time.

31 comments:

Candace & Anna said...

Happy Birthday Dahlia! 11 is a fabulous age. Enjoy your friends and have lots of fun! Dad don't blink I hear it goes faster from there on out.

Awareness said...

Happy birthday beautiful Dahlia. September is THE best time to have a birthday.... :) I hope you had a wonderful day sweetie, and that the weekend offers up a party for you with your friends. We will be having a party at my house too because there is also a person turning 11 here too! My son Max turns 11 on Monday. Just like your Dad said to you......I told Max tonight that he HAS to stop growing!

Mama C said...

Happy Birthday Dahlia, it is nice to meet you! I LOVED that picture your dad took of you, you are a true beauty.

I tell my kids to stop growing all the time too. And I stick a camera in their faces, too because I want to capture the moment and treasure it forever.

May said...

You and her look alike!

mamie said...

Carmi, the title of this post says it all. I have three daughters, all grown, and the eleventeens were the toughest. Tell that beautiful girl to be nice to her mother, even if she doesn't feel like it sometimes.

colleen said...

Such a deep expression. Beautiful. This post makes me miss my sons as boys. All those tuck-ins and their beautiful little boy voices. Happy Birthday Dahlia!

me said...

Happy Birthday D!
When I turned 11 Margaret Thatcher became the first woman Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Your turning 11 and will get to see either the first African American president or the first woman vice president. Either way you will look back on this when you are old and decrepit (30 or 40) and wonder why it took so long.

I hope you have the best birthday ever.

Carol said...

dear dahlia, you're in the inbetween years, too old
to be a tomboy and too young to be a teen. What a lovely place to be, it's like taking a pause before you begin the next stage of your journey.

Like a flower unfolding
in the morning sun
may your days unfold
into love & happiness, always

Happy Birthday Dahlia

Z said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia..you're a beautiful girl and you're a lucky girl to have a Dad like yours!

Rattling The Kettle said...

Happy birthday! Lovely sentiments expressed there, Carmi.

Ben and Bennie said...

Happy birthday Dahlia! My 11-year-old daughter says to tell you 11 is a good age.

I couldn't agree with you more, C. Time keeps marching on yet I want to slow that pace down to perhaps a slow shuffle. I guess our girls are at an age where you can still see the child but there are traces of young woman starting to eke out.

Heidi said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia!

Enjoy every minute of being 11!!!

(September birthdays are the best, I agree!!! ;-)

rashbre said...

So right. Spend time well.

Scarlet said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia! Please listen to you dad and stop growing for a bit. ;)

Enjoy every moment with your folks...you'll be just as tall as your mom before you know it...and you'll know it all. :)

MorahMommy said...

Happy Birthday, my sweet Dahlia.

I enjoy sharing our birthdays and doing all the girly things with you.

You are my special Monkeygirl and I look forward to creating many memories together!

Barb said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia. You are one very lucky little girl with great parents and brothers (yes, even the brothers). Time does go fast, usually faster for moms and dads than an 11-year old, but I can only think of one of my favorite current songs by Trace Adkins "You're gonna miss this, you're gonna want this back, you're gonna wish these days hadn't gone by so fast. These are some good times....." (Sorry, Carmi, I write 'em as I see 'em. Poetic license and all!) Then there is the old classic from the movie "Gigi": "Thank goodness for little girls"! I like that one!

Birthday hugs all the way from Missouri.

Sara said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more to come.

Carmi, she truly is a beautiful child - and I know how you feel about her growing up - I remember those same feelings as my daughter was growing up...You better be ready - cause the boys are gonna be beatin' down your door!

caramaena said...

Happy birthday Dahlia, I hope it's a wonderful day and a wonderful year for you!

MissMeliss said...

Happy Onety-first birthday Dahlia.

(Onety-one = 11 = in Chisanbop, this ancient technique of adding and subtracting that turns your fingers into a calculator).

Thumper said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAHLIA! I hope your day is filled with at east 23 kinds of awesomeness, and that hitting your 'Tweens is every bit as much fun for you as it was for me...back in the stone age...before there was fire.

{i}Post said...

Happy birthday to a gorgeous young lady...may all the best come to you. If not, go out and get it anyway.

I posted another close up today too and it happens to be a portrait also. Me! Nine Acres

Wendy said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia - the fun is just beginning!!

Tabib said...

Happy Birthday Dahlia!

She look like you, beautiful!

sage said...

Happy birthday Dahlia, from a dad of another ten year old girl who is growing up too fast and will be 11 in March.

kenju said...

Happy Birthday, Dahlia! What a lovely girl you are, so like your mom.

Beverly said...

I join all the others in wishing you a very happy birthday. May this year be the best one ever!

I am a Tornado ~ proven fact! said...

Congrats Dahlia, 11 is a great age.

You are a lovely girl.

Lanceman said...

Happy Birthday Dahlia!

I have a 10 year old son, who will be 11 in a few short months. He is my youngest. And I keep thinking of him holding my hand. And how special that is when I hold out my hand and he runs to grab hold. His older brother and sister are "too old" for that. And, I don't want to lose that bond...

Lakeland Jo said...

My son is thirteen and five foot seven. A rugby player, a flanker and never happie than when he is covered in mud and water, stuck under a scrumful of other sweaty rugger fanatics. He is taller than me, much taller than his grandma, and as independent as his dad and I. But as I tell him every day he will always be my baby, and he is always up for a big hug from mum. I hope it stays like that forever!

Elizabeth McQuern said...

What a beauty! Those eyes are stunning.

Mojo said...

Man I can't believe I missed this post. Sorry I'm so late to the party, but Happy Birthday Dahlia. You're truly as lovely as your name suggests. And it's really cool of you to have let your Dad have his moment like that, even though you might feel a little old for it.

Hang on Carmi... the fun's just beginning... pretty soon you'll be screening boys, waiting up, watching through the curtains... But I wouldn't worry too much. She's got a solid foundation, and if you've got that the house will stand.