Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Rachel's Birthday Balloons

Rachel put this lovely dress on her birthday wish list and then, after church, when I had her pose while wearing it, she did this:

Apparently it's because she just didn't know how to stand, but really sometimes getting some goofiness out helps Rachel to pose more naturally.

You should have seen the face she pulled before giving me this beautiful smile:

As is customary, we wrote out some birthday balloons for Rachel, which I will transcribe below so we can always remember what a wonderful 16-year-old she is.

Dad says:
You are sixteen going on seventeen...that's so old! 

I'm proud of the amazing person you're becoming and all the things you're learning and doing!

You're an awesome teen and I'm excited to see what you do in your late-teenagehood!

Happy Birthday! Love, Dad
Mom says:
Hey Rachel! Remember the time you turned...sixteen? You're...

Seriously the best first-born child
I could ask for, even though I wanted to scream
X-plitives into the night because you would not sleep!
To tell the truth, you're turning out great—
Elegant, talented, wise, poised, kind.
Everything you touch turns out beautiful,
Nearly flawless! Keep it up, Smalls!

Perhaps some day you'll live up to my height. Maybe. But even if you don't, I have a hunch you'll still be a phenomenal person. Keep baking, keep crocheting, keep reading and writing and learning new things. You are a wonder, kid.

 Happy Birthday! Love, Mom 

Miriam says:

How are you 16 already? You are a wonderful person to be around and a great sister! I always love all the things you cook up and am excited every time you make anything. 

You always give me very good book recommendations and I am in awe every time you crochet (how do you do it so fast without using your fingers?) 

I love you! Happy birthday! 

Benjamin says:

Rachel, you are probably the best cake maker na dbaker in the house. You are nice and loving and snarky. We love you a lot and appreciate how smart you are (get your driver's license this year). 

Radical and cool
Ablaze with the fire of growth
Chief of the young kids
Horrible at being a bad person
Loving and kind

Love you, b-day girl! —Ben
A little bit of commentary from me: Benjamin's poem really made our eyes pop a couple of times. The first time was the line "ablaze with the fire of growth" because...sometimes that kid waxes so eloquent. The second time was when—as he was reading this aloud to Rachel—he locked eyes with her and said, "Horrible..."

Hopefully you've realized that this is an acrostic of her name. The rest of the line is " being a bad person," which made us all sigh in relief because sometimes that kid waxes eloquent, but also he's a real wild card so we just were not sure what was going to follow "horrible."

Third and finally, it's R-A-C-H-E-L, buddy! No worries, though, because our champion speller, Zoë also got this wrong...ish.

Zoë said:
Dear Rachel,

How are you already 16?! Happy Birthday!

A great sister
Crazy good cook
Hufflepuff (like me!)

E-mazing?! Silly kids! I'm going to have to make them read the dictionary so they can come up with some better words.

Alexander said:

You are slaking you are not riteing lov you so much you are so good at math you arr 16 and i'm going to be 6

[You are slacking; you are not writing. Love you so much. You are so good at math. You are 16 and I'm going to be 6!]

It's true that Rachel was not writing a birthday balloon for herself. She's not often much of a slacker though.

Phoebe scribbled on a balloon, which I translated to say "Phoebe loves Rachel!" 

We sure are proud of Rachel and all she's doing. She's a good, good kid!

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