My little Gummi Bear turned 7 years old today. When I woke her up this morning, she wouldn't budge. So I whispered, "Happy Birthday!" to which she quickly sat up, her hair mustered, and a grin on her face. The first words out of her mouth were, "did you remember to order cupcakes for my class?" Uh oh. Nope, I did not remember. I sent her on her way to get ready and went into panic mode. I had to quickly rouse the troops and attempt to get them loaded in the van and on our way, at least 15 minutes earlier than usual so we could make an unscheduled stop at the bakery. We did not meet our deadline and were on the road at 7:30 (usual time).
I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and told Gummi that we needed to hurry. We rushed into the store and headed straight for the bakery goods. In their cooler they had a variety of cupcakes, but not enough for her entire class. So I then suggested a sheet cake (there were at least 5 to select from). Gummi picked two of them out, as they were quite small. It was then that I noticed their price tags at $22.99 a piece. No way was I going to spend that much money for each kid to eat just one piece of cake. So I suggested donuts, to which Gummi crinkled her nose. We were running out of options and time. Gummi then noticed a display of frosted sugar cookies. She thought they looked good and there were enough for all of her classmates. Whew. Thank goodness. As we walked to the check-out I apologized to Gummi. I told her I didn't forget it was her birthday. I just forgot that she needed treats for school. She said, "It's o.k. Mom. I like cookies."
Her response to my forgetfulness is typical for Gummi. As I mentioned in a previous post, Gummi has a very charitable heart. For being so young, she is quite in tune to others and their needs. She has a strong desire to be of service and to help others. A few weeks ago, the kids' school packaged meals for "Kids Against Hunger." It impacted her so much that she is still talking about the experience. Yesterday we heard on the radio that it was National Police and Peace Officers Day. Gummi asked if we could bake cookies and deliver them to the Police Station. We don't even have a police station in our community. Knowing that I was going shopping today, Gummi asked me to buy large yard bags so she could pick up trash that had accumulated across the street, near the railroad tracks. This past Lent, I found Gummi in her room, emptying out her piggy bank on her bed. When I asked her what she was doing, she said she wanted to donate all her money to the Rice Bowl (Catholic Relief Services). Her actions and her attitude greatly humble me.
Yesterday I caught Sweet Pea telling a lie. I told her that until she tells me the truth, she could not participate in a craft activity with the other girls. Feeling sorry for her, Gummi wrapped an arm around her little sister and softly persuaded her by saying, "Just tell mom the truth and you get to play with me. I really want to play with you so please tell mom the truth." Gulp. Tears welled up in my eyes at that.
I have countless stories of Gummi's generosity and sweet disposition. However, I also have stories of her tom-boyishness and fights with her brothers. A few years ago, she went through a rather sassy stage. I'm certain she rolled her eyes at me more than once. She also used to talk non-stop. Her and I would be alone together - maybe driving somewhere, and she kept herself company by how much she gabbed. When she ran out of words, she would sing, "La, la, la, la, la." No lie. It was entertaining and a bit exhausting to listen to, all at the same time. As I kissed her good-night this evening, that moment in time seems so long ago.