She’s turning 7

Photo of Sarah Badat Richardson with her daughter Talina QueenShe’s turning seven in two days. My baby is now a full fledged little girl.
Who likes make up, nail polish, pig tails and twirly dresses.
Who speaks three languages and is eager to learn more.
Who’s in first grade but scored an A+ on a second grade math test yesterday.
Who practices leaps in the hallway and handstands against the kitchen cabinet.

She’s a seven year old with definite opinions and tastes.
Her favorite color is pink and her favorite animal a Cheetah. Her favorite drinks are strawberry lemonade AND water. The top three songs on her chart are Happy by Pharrell Williams, Uptown Funk by Bruno Mars (She loves the line “Don’t believe me just watch” and thankfully she doesn’t get the other lyrics) and Roar by Katy Perry. When she grows up she might be a veterinarian, a boat captain or a lawyer.

She’s a seven year old with a delightful personality.
She’s sweet but tough. She loves ballet and Jiu Jitsu.
She’s dedicated, focused and persevering. Four years of Capoeira, four years of swim classes and she’s still going strong.
She’s a social butterfly, who loves nothing else quite as much as being surrounded by people. Younger people. Older people. Any people. She loves them all.
She’s a fan of books and stories and is just now experiencing the magic of decoding the alphabet and reading by herself.
She’s even tempered and a joy to be around. The only person who throws tantrums around here is me (I’m getting better at controlling myself). After watching Inside Out she concluded that she didn’t have any “anger” inside her brain. I have to agree since I’ve never seen her lose her cool. Sad sometimes. Disgusted on occasion. Joyful almost always. But angry. No. Not this girl.

Photo of Talina Queen Richardson
A few days old.

When I brought back my jaundiced infant from the hospital I couldn’t imagine this. Seven years a mother have given me a new perspective on time passing.

Parenting is like a roller coaster. The beginnings are all uphill. Painfully slow. The going is difficult. Tic Tic Ticking towards an unknown experience. Thrilling yet terrifying. When you reach the top, you have a choice to make. You either enjoy the ride or you don’t. The twists and turns. The loops. The vertical drops. The upside downs. You either embrace it all with open arms and a big smile on your face as you scream your head off with delight or you close your eyes, clench your fists and get ready to throw up.
Seven years into it, I’ve slowly managed to unclench my fists.
I have one little girl and this I know for sure: she wont’ be little much longer. She already brings the trash can from the curb, folds her own laundry and recently asked to do the dishes. I don’t want to close my eyes and miss any of it. I don’t want to let fear lead the way.
I am a mother. Of course I’m scared. Scared of doing not enough right and too much wrong. But the past seven years did teach me that I don’t have time to waste being scared.
I’ve got to savor it. Soak it up. It does go by fast.

I’m so lucky. My almost seven year old daughter is healthy and happy. My demanding high maintenance baby has transformed into an adorable gentle little person.
The baby who used to wake me up before sunrise every day now lets me sleep in AND nap.
The baby who used to scream whenever buckled into her car seat now enjoys our car rides as we listen to classical music or our current read aloud.
My days are filled with hugs, kisses and love notes. Cuddles on the couch as we read a pile of books. Giggles as we play board games. Excitement as we master a new math challenge together.

She thinks I’m the best thing since sliced bread. She’d rather be with her parents than with anyone else (she told me so).

Photo of Talina Queen Richardson age 6
6 and 11/12 🙂

Tomorrow, when we light up the candles on a homemade chocolate cake that I didn’t bake (Thank goodness for friends who know how!), my heart will be filled with gratitude for this little person who’s turned my life upside down and taken me places I never knew since she chose me as her mother seven years ago.


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