Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Annika special ceremony

Babies grow up so fast. At five they're nothing like the baby you carried around endlessly, but they still have the emotional outbursts of a toddler, still walking the thin line between baby and child. But something happens at six. Annika has come through an enormous passage the last few months -- taking on so many more responsibilities, managing her emotions in a new way, just growing up tremendously. She's no longer a baby, she's a mature child, she's entered true girlhood. We wanted to mark the occasion in a special way, with ritual and celebration. We chose the summer solstice for our celebration, a traditional time of letting go -- of the sun's long rays, of the lengthening days, of moving forward and embracing what IS. Just as the sun was sinking in the sky, we made a ceremonial journey down to our sacred cedars for our own letting-go ceremony.
We hung this "veil" in the cedars and on one side we said good-bye to our "baby girl" reminding her of how she was as a baby, remembering all the things we loved about her as a baby. She had dressed very special for the occasion, wearing her favourite white cotton dress, but there were too many bugs/mosquitoes. I made her daisy crown from the wild daisies in our fields. She put her goddess necklace on herself and I think she really "got" what this was all about even more deeply than the rest of us, perhaps. I didn't expect to feel quite so emotional as I did, letting go of my little girl being a baby, but I cried openly! Then we wiped our tears and went to the other side of the veil and she walked through to our cheers and happy welcomes to her as a girl-child. I gave her a little piano music box (it plays "It's a Small World") that I'd received from my parents when I was little. She LOVED the whole ceremony. We hugged her and talked about what we were seeing in her that made such a ceremony important. She added to what we had seen and was beaming.
Afterwards we had our bonfire to celebrate the sun, sang our good-bye songs to the sun and had a wonderful feast and party. I love this picture of little Pedar listening to his big sister. Their growing, beautiful relationship is one of the things we were celebrating -- as she's matured they've fallen into a wonderful rhythm of playing and learning together. I can't describe how amazing it is, but I feel like this photo kind of captures it.
Annika wanted to cook her own marshmallow for the first time ALL by herself. This was her idea (as most things are in her life these days) and she was so proud of the results...
I can't believe it's been 6 1/2 years since I became a mother. I can't believe how beautiful my firstborn child is -- she has a gentle presence, a kindness, a thoughtfulness that can't be taught. She cares deeply about all things and is intense in a way that shakes the earth sometimes, and she is always thinking of ways to share herself, to help others lives be easier, to develop herself in new ways. I feel so blessed to be this little girl's mother. Humbled and inspired.
***Is she perfect? Absolutely not. Was the party perfect? Nope. Is anything ever perfect? Nope. I'd just picked a big basket of strawberries to eat with the daffodil cake I'd made for the occasion. I'd cut some in half and circled the top of the cake with them twice (so pretty) and gone back to the garden to pick more to eat alongside. I heard Annika shriek and looked up to see the cake had been half eaten by one very satisfied but guilty dog! At least she didn't pull the cake off the table, but had eaten as much as she could eat from the ground! I was pretty distraught, but my daughter reminded me of what dogs can really understand and so we had a good laugh about it all. We cut off the part that Kenai had marred (nearly half) and ate the rest. It was delicious! And we really only needed half a cake -- she was 6 1/2 afterall! Kenai figured that out before we did :o)

6 comments:

Dragonflydownunder said...

Happy 6 1/2 years to Annika. what a special time ~ loved reading about it. see you soon.

Joanne said...

What a beautiful celebration! Sounds like our dogs are related...mine ate 24 cupcakes once in a matter of minutes. Happy Birthday Annika!

Amanda said...

What a beautiful ceremony! You are such a cool mom!

Andrea said...

So beautiful and the pictures are amazing!

Samantha said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing Mary-Sue.

lesleyann said...

what a curt chidndyou have