eight

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I interrupt Hasselblad Friday for this important announcement.  

This weekend, March 3, Alex will turn 8 years old.  Eight.

This fact alone has me muttering the usual clichés -- they grow up so fast, and I remember when she  was just a tiny baby in my arms, and of course, the time-honoured before you know it she'll be out of the house -- but in general, the mere occasion of her birthday is not usually cause for me to lose it.  However, this year, Alex is attending a new school, and they make quite a big deal about birthdays in this school. In fact, they assigned me homework (aside: how come I'm getting homework?) to put together a poster board with a photograph of Alex from each year of her life.  So yesterday, I did.  

Now, obviously I've been taking photos of Alex all her life, so finding images wasn't too difficult -- but what was really stunning (and has me on the verge of fetal position) was looking at the images en masse, and seeing how much she's changed in eight years.  Seriously, I may never recover.

And because misery loves company, I thought I'd share my pain with you.  (And for those of you who have been reading Chookooloonks since the day I started blogging, buckle up.  It's about to get seriously disconcerting.)

So the first image, above, was taken about 15 hours after Alex was born.  She's lying in Marcus' arms, and at that point, we were both a little shell-shocked that we were on the verge of being parents.  (She came home from the hospital with us about 24 hours later, and 6 months after that, a judge made it all official.)

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This is Alex on her 1st birthday.  It also happens to be the night before we packed up everything and moved to Trinidad for a few years -- so, exciting times for a number of reasons.

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This is Alex at age 2, taken on our apartment patio in Trinidad.  Look how sunkissed she is!  Look how happy!

Those were some good times, man.

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Age 3, taken in the back garden of our current house.  This is her face when she says something that cracks herself up.

She's constantly cracking herself up.

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Age 4, this time taken in our front garden.  Notice the wonky new tooth coming in.  I love kids with wonky teeth.

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Age 5, same location as age 4, but this time with 2 permanent bottom teeth in.  No more wonkiness!

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Age 6, this time with all kinds of permanent teeth in (when they started coming out, baby, they started coming out).  She's flashing a big grin here to distract you from the fact that her mother decided to take her photograph before combing her hair.  What?

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Age 7, last year.  Alex had decided that she didn't like her curls anymore, which killed me (although now that I look at that age 6 photo where I didn't bother to comb her hair, I begin to understand where that feeling might have come from).  Considering that I had never taken her for so much as a trim, after months of doggedly begging me to straighten her hair, I relented by having my stylist of many, many years flat-iron and trim her hair for her birthday.

Needless to say, she loved it.

She pleaded with me to let her keep it that way, but obviously, that wasn't going to happen.  So I made a deal with her:  every year, around her birthday, I promised I would take her to have her hair flat-ironed and trimmed.  It makes her birthday feel extra-special, and makes sure that I'm maintaining her hair, so it seemed like a good arrangement.

Yesterday evening, therefore, I took her back to my stylist to get her hair flat-ironed.  And then took her official 8-year-old portraits:

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And this is the part where I admit that I am so not ready for her to grow up.

(Happy Birthday, Diva.  Your dad and I so love being your parents.)

Song:  Falling down, by Selena Gomez and The Scene.  I don't think I have to tell you who picked today's song.