Today my daughter London turns 10. Born on the first day of summer – the day with the most sunlight every year – this child is a constant source of joy, of silliness, of sweetness in my life.
This is the kid who will just tell you how it is – no sugar coating, no filter. She is as feisty as she is smart. She burns through calories and if she goes too long without eating or drinking, you’ll have a VERY hangry London on your hands. But she’s also the kid who immediately greets our pet hamster when she wakes up and showers him with love and affection the whole day through. She’s a baby whisperer, often calming little ones by simply looking at them. She wants people to feel included. She has my husband wrapped around her little finger.
Since London could talk, she’s had one wish for every birthday: a dog. The time has never been right in our family (and yeah, Dad and I might be dragging our feet a little on bringing another living being into our home). Even this year, the big 10th birthday, when her older siblings received their first phones, she said she’d bypass hers in favor of a dog. Bless her heart. So the search is on – minorly – for a FAMILY dog. But she won’t receive one for her birthday. Trying to come up with something to buy for her each year is always a challenge because nothing can come close to fulfilling her life-long (so far) birthday wish of a four-legged companion.
London is my traveler, though, so I came up with a gift that will take her, me and one friend away for a night. London’s name is appropriate because she’d pack her bags and hop on an airplane to go wherever without hesitation. She loves airports, and hotels, and swimming pools, and hiking trails, and skyscrapers, and camping, and stand-up paddleboarding, and going to restaurants. When our family took a long road trip three years ago, I realized that we could stay the night in Las Vegas along one of our long stretches. We wouldn’t have time to do anything there (you know, the family friendly things during daylight) but I love the lights of Las Vegas so I pushed to at least cruise into town to see that. My kids and husband weren’t overly impressed – except for London. She sat with her face pressed against the minivan window, soaking in all the neon and glitter and sheen of the Las Vegas strip. She stood at our hotel window, watching, after we checked into our room.
“It’s beautiful,” she told me.
She gets it. When it comes to new places, new things, and new people – she gets me, too.
As London continues forward from childhood to becoming a young woman, I look forward to seeing what adventures she takes our family on. I look forward to the day she finally gets her dog and to watching her take care of it and shower it with all the love she’s been saving up all these years. She’s truly one of a kind and watching her grow up is a true joy of my own life.
Happy Birthday London – wherever life takes you, we love you (and take me with you!).
Tags: 10th birthday