I was thinking, as I lay next to the birthday girl waiting for her to fall asleep at naptime today, how maybe grandchildren are born to forgive people for the mistakes they made that are still unforgiven by their own children.

Grandchildren seem to have an uncomplicated joy in their grandmothers or grandfathers. Or maybe it’s just that mine (and those of my children) lived far away so there was little to muddy the waters, so to speak, when we did see them.

And that thought dovetailed into remembering the best advice I ever read, which was that “all children require is to be received with joy.” Which is such a fundamental truth, and yet so hard to actually achieve on a day to day basis. I interpret that to mean being really there and joyful with my children minute to minute (not that I do that, just that I aspire to it). I guess that means laughing at their jokes and letting them crawl all over you and trying not to yell at them for breaking a lamp when they are careless.

But anyway, I am thankful for my little one today, as she turns two years old. She just ate pizza and hotdogs and blueberries for lunch followed by all the buttercream flowers on top of her chocolate cake.

Happy Birthday, Maika.