SOLSC: March 2, 2016 – Happy Birthday, Olivia!

Write. Share. Give.

Write. Share. Give. Join the March Slice of Life Story Challenge @ Two Writing Teachers  

Our daughter Olivia is studying in London for the year, and she turned 21 yesterday.  A big day for Livy, the baby of our family.  A big day for us, her parents, who felt the vast expanse of the Atlantic Ocean on this her special day.

I thought of Livy all day, and tried to imagine what she must be up to: going to her classes, writing her papers, taking the Tube here and there, perhaps even to a celebratory dinner with her friends.  At lunch time, feeling the need to connect with her somehow, I reached for one of her favorite Harry Potter books (it helps that I teach sixth grade and always have these handy) and read one of her favorite parts – the part where Dobby, the faithful house-elf, dies.  Livy loved Dobby, and we would often have to stop and reread parts in which he made an entrance over and over (and over) again.  When Dobby died, Livy was beside herself.  We read this part many, many times:

“He did not know or care whether they were wizards or Muggles, friends or foes; all he cared about was that a dark stain was spreading across Dobby’s front, and that he had stretched out his thin arms to Harry with a look of supplication. Harry caught him and laid him sideways on the cool grass.

“Dobby, no, don’t die, don’t die -”

The elf’s eyes found him, and his lips trembled with the effort to form words.


And then with a little shudder the elf became quite still, and his eyes were nothing more than great glassy orbs, sprinkled with light from the stars they could not see.”
J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

On one of her many travels in her junior year abroad, Livy made sure to visit the site where the scene above was filmed, and we were not surprised to see this post:

Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 9.00.10 PM

I spent a long time looking at this photograph and thinking of my Livy, now 21. I thought of her big heart, her wicked sense of humor, her keen sense of social justice and what was fair and right.  I thought of her gifts of music, of being able to offer comfort and counsel, and the way in which she can size up any situation or problem and just  get  things figured out and done.

And I was proud.


24 thoughts on “SOLSC: March 2, 2016 – Happy Birthday, Olivia!

  1. It’s wonderful to see our children grow up into capable, caring adults. I can relate to this post on so many levels, as our own daughter studied abroad last fall and is getting ready to graduate this spring. So glad you shared this with us; hope you were able to connect with a call, too!

  2. My third child is like Olivia, wise and comforting. I’m sorry she is so far away on her birthday. I admit this post brought tears to my eyes. Our children, even when far away, are always in our hearts. Always.

  3. Happy Birthday to Olivia. As a mother, this is a beautiful post. My babies are still with me at home, but this type of writing reminds me to get right in there and try not to miss anything. It sounds like you have much to be proud of. Thank you for sharing her with us!

  4. I too wrote about memories of reading to children – my mom with me. These memories are so precious. Clearly Livy agrees since she took time to relive her memories. Love the photo– and as always I look to you to find hope in my next stage of life as empty nest is approaching. Thank you

  5. So I am sitting at Starbucks, reading your beautiful description of your daughter (with tears in my eyes!). Sharing the lines from a book passage and the photo do so much to show me what kind of person your daughter is. Such powerful writing. And congrats to YOU…21 years having a major part in her creation!

  6. My oldest turns 21 next week and he is in college 9 hours from home so your teaser on the Slice of Life post pulled me in. Do we get more nostalgic the older our children get?

  7. Simply beautiful! Thanks for sharing your daughter’s special day with us. Kids make us proud of who they become. Wonder what great things are in store for this girl.

  8. It’s a special memory and celebration for Livy, Tara. There isn’t much better than looking back at those good times with our children. Happy Birthday one more time!

  9. Awesome tribute for Livy and her parents and siblings who all had a “part” in helping Livy be the amazing young woman she is. It’s so much fun to see our cildren literally grow into adulthood in front of us (as well as across the miles)!

  10. Oh my – reaching for the Kleenex…
    This slice is filled with words linked so perfectly that the birthday girl they describe seems to leap right off the page. What a wonderful birthday tribute!

  11. Here I go scrolling through my reader and what catches my eye but dear sweet Dobby. Oh how I cried during that same moment. My husband reminded me time and time again that he was not, in fact, real. He just doesn’t understand. Happy Birthday to your daughter.

  12. OH! I love the connection to Harry Potter when she is there in London! Even when our kids are in town their birthdays are theirs as they get older. They hurry off to be with friends and partners. I am just happy they have grown to be such fine adults with lives so fun! I know the wishing but enjoy their walk into adulthood! She sounds like a beautiful person! You did a good job Mom!

  13. This post slayed me dear friend. What a lovely girl that Livvy is and what a lucky mum you are. That picture! It makes me think about my Annie growing up. xo

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