Anne Turns Eight . . . at 6:10

“Dear C.P.,” the invitation letter read, “Please come to my house at 6:10 on my birthday.” It went on to give details of the party to follow and of how “we are leaving for Peru soon” so the friend really must come before they’re parted. It was signed lovingly by Anne.

She made the invitation at school, but Anne has one of those teachers who sees all things, including notes written to classmates. Miss Teacher asked her to take it home to ask her parents first before giving the invitation. Wisdom crieth in the streets.

I am thankful for all the hosting responsibilities we may otherwise have been ignorantly pledged for were it not for omniscient school teachers.

Anne will be eight in a just a few weeks. She is quite excited about the possibility of Peru, yet she seems to understand a small measure of what the separation will mean for her. The birthday party is not the first idea of hers about making the most of her time with others, “Because otherwise they might forget us, Daddy!”

She was telling me a sweet story the other day about how another one of the girls in her class plans to grow up and become a school teacher and promised that Anne should be her teacher’s aide. “But Daddy, how can I do that if we’re in Peru? I guess C.C. could teach in Peru, but then she’d have to leave her daddy and mommy, and that would make her sad. So I guess I’ll have to come back here to be her teacher’s aide.” With an added sniff to show how tragical that would be.

I did not try to explain that once she is ready to be a teacher or a teacher’s aide, she will be old enough to leave her parents and be safe and happy, if that’s what God wants for her. No, that’s a conversation we’ll put off a good while yet.

Anne is continually bringing up questions about what it will be like in Peru. Will we have this or that? Will we still do this or that? “Do they use spoons there?” She is definitely thinking deeply about it all—well, as deeply as she can.

When she found out that we may be not be able to take all of her dolls with us to Peru, she was distraught. “But Mama, I love all my dolls! How can I leave them behind?”

Another item was her pair of roller blades. One young fellow had asked if he could have the skates when Anne went to Peru. Probably not the most tactful request she’ll get in her life, but you never can tell with young men.

Anne responded with, “Absolutely not.” She really loves to skate around the gym at school when she gets the chance.

After hearing of the story, I tried to reason with her that not all of our things will go with us, she immediately assumed it was because they don’t skate in Peru. (Do they? I have no idea.) “But couldn’t we just take the skates and have them somewhere in the house for pretty. They are really pretty.”

Sí pues. “No, we will not be taking many things just for pretty. We must take what we need, instead.”

“Oh. But don’t we need roller blades?”

When the birthday invitation was discussed at home, Mama and Daddy tried to explain why it’s important that mamas and daddies do the inviting. That made sense, sure. “But I really, really, really want her to come for my last birthday before we go to Peru!”

We assured her we understood, and that it was likely her friends from school could come. But a few of the promises made in the invitation would have to change. Maybe Mama could help with the new invitation.

“Well, can we at least keep the time as 6:10? That’s very important!”

Do you remember what you thought was important when you turned 8? How much will change before she turns 9? I’m glad we don’t know.

Anyway, see you at the party? It’s at 6:10. Bring your roller blades. And don’t be late.