My baby turned twelve. How quickly the years have passed! Finding a gift for her was more challenging this time. She's not a greedy child and had few things on her wish list. She doesn't long for dolls or Polly Pockets or Littlest Pet Shop toys anymore. What do you give a girl who is on the outskirts of childhood getting ready to fly away? And what would we do on her special day? It's her choice. She decides on going to the mall. Really? She doesn't even like shopping. Maybe it is to please her sister.
We have a carefree time with no urgent schedule to keep. We walk and roam. The girls brought old gift cards with them, never used. (We don't get to the mall much.) They visit Claire's and spend a long time looking at all the trinkets, finally finding earring for themselves and gifts for Lana and Mattie who will be coming for the family party the next day.
Liana has a long forgotten Build-A-Bear Workshop gift card in her purse. It's been many years since she and her friends, such little girls, had a birthday party here. Liana decides to make another bear. She wants Arielle to make one too and even offers to pay for her sister's. (Arielle says no.) Liana chooses a white fluffy bear and goes along with the clerk's instructions to kiss the heart that will go inside the bear and then she jumps up and down to make a wish. Her smile, her joy--just like before. The magic still lives. She names her bear Arabella.
At home we have Liana's special dinner--Chinese Longevity Soup and chocolate chip ice cream. We play her new game of Five Crowns that lasts way past bedtime. I kiss my twelve-year-old daughter good-night, her new bear sitting beside her pillow dressed in princess clothes. Liana hasn't flown away yet, and I'm very happy about that.