Nearly a week ago we celebrated Olivia's birth with shrimp linguine and lemon cake. We toasted her eleven years and remembered the early days of her arrival on earth.
I think she was my hardest baby and toddler (there were days I hardly thought we'd make it to her third birthday), and yet she became my easiest child to raise. Full of compromise and empathy and peacemaking, she gives easily, repents easily, and mothers everything she can get her hands on.
She started out demanding and turned out soothing.
(Which gives me hope for myself. Perhaps it is not too late.)
She once told me that she felt different than everyone else in our family. I told her it was only because she was better than every one of the rest of us.
She has the kindest heart of any one I know. A few weeks ago we were at the table eating Sunday dinner and discussing what we had learned in church that day. Olivia told us that her class had learned about Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, about the conditions of the jail, and the prophet's prayers to heaven for help. She then said incredulously, "And do you know what Heavenly Father said?" And then, not waiting for an answer and tearing up, "He told Joseph Smith that these things were for his good." Then she was quiet, and softly said, "I think that was a terrible answer." She couldn't help herself. She cannot stand to see suffering and, while we explained and she understood that there were things the prophet had to pass through, she was heartbroken that heaven's help could not be immediately forthcoming.
That's my girl.
I count it as nothing but privilege to be the mother of such a girl.
Olivia and her friends dressed as lovely ladies from Milan, New York and Chicago, respectively.
Naturally, their dolls were invited as well...