Yesterday, we were all bundled up and ready to brave the cold weather and darkness knowing that we would soon witness spectacular sights of twinkling lights and displays at the Philadelphia Zoo.’s Luminature event. We attended in 2019 and didn’t get to go in 2020 due to Covid restrictions, so it made it that much more special this year.
My daughter observed how we had to go at night when it was dark. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to fully see the lights. This made me think about the significance of darkness, especially with what many of us have endured with being away from our loved ones and spending most of our time indoors. Sometimes to have a greater appreciation for the light, we must welcome darkness.
It was even more amazing than we recalled, and there were new displays that left us captivated. I’m so glad we didn’t allow the cold and darkness to stop us from enjoying this special outing with our aunt and cousins.
At Quinn’s last wellness appointment this past May, she was delighted when the doctor told her, “No shots this time around.” But this past Friday, she was excited and counting down the days. The week prior she even reported that one of her classmates already got his and that she couldn’t wait to get hers. The day before getting her shot, she asked her dad and me how ours felt. We both said it was like a pinch. So she was ready to take it like a champ.
When the day finally arrived, I picked her up from school, and we drive to the vaccination site about twenty minutes away. It was cold outside, so I had the heat on full-blast not realizing that I was “roasting” Quinn. When we were a few minutes away, she started taking off her jacket and telling me she was hot. Upon arriving and having the nurse take her temperature from the car, Quinn had a 100.7 degree temperature, and I was beside myself wondering if she wouldn’t be permitted to get vaccinated.
Both Quinn and I a looked at each other with nervousness, and me with disappointment. Could we make it this far with Quinn being well and then turned away? Luckily, the nurse could feel the extra warmth coming from the car and suggested that Quinn walk around outside for a few minutes before retaking her temperature. For the second reading it was right at 97.6 degrees, and I was bubbling over with joy inside.
Quinn had a little grimace as she got her shot but reported that it was just a little pinch like we said. Then she told me, “I don’t know why, but I feel so happy getting my Covid vaccine shot!” When I asked her what the shot means to her, she said getting back to normal, no masks and getting to have more fun with my family and friends. Then she said, “I guess that’s why I’m happy.” She couldn’t wait to show off her sticker and Tweety Bird bandage to her dad when we got home. No side effects except a little arm soreness, and she’s already talking about the second dose.
Why does seeing my daughter get vaccinated make me even happier and excited than when I did? She’s the future, and I look forward to her having a normal childhood where she can enjoy her family and friends with limited restrictions.
Not too long ago, my eight year old reminded me that she’s officially eight and a half. On top of that pictures from past years came up on my phone, social media and Amazon Echo devices reminding me of the many special moments over the years. I’m truly amazed at how much my little girl has grown, not just physically but mentally, socially and emotionally as well. I’m so clad that I decided to chronicle special our special moments together because it allows me to slow down a little and just appreciate her life and my role as her mother.
Though there are still many more years to go, I’m still often brought back to those times when she was a baby just learning how to talk, crawl and walk. Now, she’s dancing, skating boarding, reading, multiplying and even writing plays. As life continues too become hectic again, I’m going to try my best to cherish our moments together as time flies by.
Picture day is fast approaching and will be here is just a few days. Just like when I was a kid, decades later, and it’s now a big deal for my daughter. Picking out that perfect outfit and how she’ll wear her hair is a big deal. Upon going to the hairstylist and getting a silk press for her 8th birthday, Quinn knew that she didn’t want ponytails, which is what I had for my third grade picture, but to wear her hair out.
I decided to honor her request since she doesn’t wear her hair out often; unfortunately, the stylist who did a wonderful job on her hair is unavailable. Instead of being disappointed, Quinn insisted that “I” do her hair.
When I told her that I’m not a stylist but will try my best, she reassured me that I would do a terrific job. Instead of waiting until picture day or the day before, I decided to give it a try last week after watching a few videos on YouTube. To my surprise, it turned out better than I hoped, and Quinn said, “You did a fabulous job, Mommy!”
Though it made me so happy seeing that big smile on Quinn’s face, I saw something else. My baby girl is growing up so fast! In two short years, she’ll be in double digits! But until then, I’m excited to see how her pictures turn out, and know that she’ll have a big smile on her face as my sweet little girl.