You at Seven

I can see the three of us standing under the horse-chestnut by the river. The leaves are brown. They float down softly on our heads and toes, they tickle a little. Above us, squirrels leap from branch to branch making conkers fall around us like stars. And as we stand on the crunchy floor of rusted leaves, you jump, and turn seven.

Seven. Today.Β 

Seasons are easy to sum up, but not you at seven. I often see your thoughts whirling round and up and up like leaves in the wind. My autumn child. Not summer, not winter, but the in-between. You’re the in-between. There are two of you, so many of you. One, for the people you love: goofy and loving, nonstop-talking. Another for the rest of the world, in which you hold back, observe, keep your thoughts to yourself. I took out my paintbrushes and tried to draw your world today, you at seven, but I didn’t draw your eyes; I can never do them justice. They say so much. You’re deeply independent, unflinchingly honest. You can be positive about the greyest cloud. Never conflicted about what you feel. And when your questions come, they’re as sharp and clear as raindrops on blades of grass.

“Ma, why does extraordinary mean something really special when it’s extra + ordinary?” you asked yesterday.

Happy birthday, our Chotto-ma! You’re seven. That’s seven whole years of making our lives a little less ordinary. We love you more than all the leaves that fall in autumn.


18 thoughts on “You at Seven

  1. Someday when she gets to read this post, she'll have a smile, like i do, as i read it now. She's lucky to have these lovely posts to read and remember these special in-betweens in the ordinary everydays… Happy birthday little one! Am sure you'll always be little for your ma and ba..

    P.S. I love her mismatched socks.

  2. Yes, this is what it's for…her reading it later, and finding joy. Thank you, Fiona. Your loving wish touched my heart.
    PS: I love that you noticed the mismatched socks πŸ™‚ They're never coordinated in this house!

  3. How lovely – to be able to write such wonderful things, and to have such a wonderful daughter to write them about! I hope she has a fantastic birthday!

  4. Thank you so much for the lovely note and birthday wish…Chotto-ma sends you and Bubboo a hug! I hope you're both well and enjoying your time πŸ™‚

  5. I love all your writing Pia, but in posts featuring Chotto-ma there's that tug – I don't know how to describe it, you're the one for words.
    Happy birthday to Chotto-ma, how wonderful for us to watch her from the sidelines!

  6. Thank you, Lakshmi, for the wish and the words! “I don't know how to describe it” is one of the nicest ways to describe it πŸ™‚
    I hope you've been well! Hugs xx

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