• ashirk@gmail.com
  • Kijabe, Kenya
on teenagers.  . .

on teenagers. . .

I don’t know why this year of birthdays has filled me with reflection and emotion. 13 and 16 have felt like huge milestones – maybe more to me than to the girls, but milestones nonetheless. We seem to be glimpsing daily the women the girls are going to be, college feels closer, and so does the reality that they will be ready for it.

On a day to day basis, they think I’m weird (me more than their dad), and they are pretty sure I am incapable of doing certain things on my own – but they remind us of their love with quick hugs and unexpected cuddles – with games and conversation on quiet nights when school doesn’t dominate their schedules.

Their birthday parties were different this year – Belle dictated every detail of her sleepover, from the layout of the mattresses to the s’mores to the games – she even made her own cake. Madeline had her first bigger party in years – on the condition that she plan none of it, and we keep it a surprise. But both involved friends and good food – and watching our girls navigate the space with good food and laughter and deep conversation –

So, as is the tradition, here are photos of our twinkle light filled birthdays – and the almost-women we are so grateful to guide and learn from daily –

Annabelle’s 13th:

Madeline’s 16th:

Thanks as always to the community that surrounded us to make this happen – from marshmallows and graham crackers from Aunt Denise, candles that don’t blow out in Kijabe wind from Nana and Papa, improbable and delicious sushi bowls and sesame chicken from Judy, escape rooms from Salli and Tim, and, as always David’s ridiculous ability to make my vision come to life with wind screens for the porch and drapery from the ceiling. I love how these events are always always a group effort to show the girls just how much they are loved. . .