Abigail Grace turned the magic 5 today! We're so proud of the sweet little girl she has become.
My mom, her great grandma, would say she's full of vim, vigor and vitality! And if you throw in a dash of "pink spah-kul" you'll have a perfect description of our Abby. (Pink is her favorite color and everything she chooses needs at least a little bit of sparkle.)
Papa and I invited her for birthday lunch and told her she could choose anywhere she wanted to go. She paused only for a moment and shouted into the phone, "Chick-Fila!"
Please bear in mind that Spencer, her older brother, has chosen Chili's for each of his birthday lunches. (We start the celebrating at four when potty training and potential choking are well behind us. No pun intended.)
So at the appointed time, I rendezvoused with Mom and Dad to collect our sparkly princess. She was literally beaming. Her running monologue began as soon as I closed my car door.
"Everybody keeps calling me the 'Birthday Gurhl', Noni! I talked to Grandma this morning and Grandpa was already at work. Sometime before bedtime he'll call and sing for me. We had donuts for breakfast. Spencer already gave me his present. Aunt MehMeh brought me balloons and an Elsa puzzle."
She joyfully shared her life for the full fifteen minute drive only interrupting herself to announce that she needed a potty - NOW! Thank heavens we were near my hairdresser's shop.
We met up with Papa and headed straight for the Chick-Fila. Abby asked for a grown up lunch of 8-count nuggets and a Sprite and french fries - All. Her. Own! Gotta love those middle kids who have to share everything.
Even though ice cream was available there, we had to leave and drive to Dairy Queen. She wanted vanilla ice cream with a cone in a cup and two cherries. Papa thrilled her by asking the attendant for FIVE cherries - one to mark each year of the birthday girl.
We had to go straight home then because tonight was the conclusion of Vacation Bible School. It's been such a great week for the children that Abby never even complained that her birthday lunch had to be cut short. Big hugs. Sincere thank you's. Up the stairs to bed.
I'm sure many of you are also in the middle of Vacation Bible School season either preparing or concluding. Allow me to share one closing wrinkle to this simple post.
Some wonder if children really register what's done for them or how much truly sticks with those so young. Especially when you consider how much effort is required for parties, cards, Sunday school, special phone calls, VBS. Do they really retain any of it?
As I drove home from the office this week, I called my sweet mother-in-law. We chatted about several general things and then she asked about our plans for Bible school.
"Yes, it begins tomorrow," I said. "We've worked hard and we're very excited about loving on the children of our neighborhood."
"Sheri, I still remember going to Vacation Bible School when I was a little girl. I went to the one at First Baptist Church and it was wonderful!" My 82-year old mom began describing in great detail all the elements of her experiences. I listened as she painted the vivid picture.
Her closing statement struck me most, "I promise you, Sheri, I can close my eyes and still smell that church building. I want to visit there sometime and see if it's still the same as I remember."
Every part of her VBS experience from 75 years before was vividly burned into her mind.
So, ask again - does it mater? Absolutely, dear volunteer. Give it your best effort and know that the memories you help create for children may well out live you!