Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Six. Six!

My sweetest Ellen girl -

I sit here, late on the night before your birthday, and can hardly believe I almost forgot to write this. I think it's a reflection of the current phase of our lives, commonly referred to as BUSY. You are busy, we are busy, Georgia is along for the ride. It's mostly a happy, lucky, fortunate kind of busy, but nevertheless, it's sometimes hard to remember in the moment.

I've been cleaning every nook and cranny of this house, trying to prepare for the onslaught of shiny new things for birthday and Christmas, and I keep coming across old pictures of you with that sweet baby face. Where did that baby face go? I now see a growing girl, one tooth lost to the Tooth Fairy, with 3 more following in short order. Everyone says it, but they say it because it's true: WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

Dad and I sat in the new parent orientation at your school mere weeks ago and listened to your very experienced principle describe how he saw the biggest jump in achievement and growth and maturity in his daughters between the start of Kindergarten and Thanksgiving, and then again during their first year of college. As Dad reminded me, this has been entirely true for you. I knew you would do well in school and I knew you would love it. Sure, there are rough spots from time to time, but I'm proud of you for finding your way and working so hard. You were reluctant to read with me over the summer and I couldn't get you to focus, and now you are reading books and sounding out words and writing stories on your own. I love to watch your accomplishments.

You have made some nice friends and have been able to do a lot of fun things this year. You are a fun-seeker, like your Dad, and I think find yourself bored around here with the daily activities I like to call "being a productive citizen". Your energy level has significantly increased since you started Kindergarten, I think as a byproduct of sitting and focusing all day, and you can't stop jumping over / leaping on / bouncing off of the furniture. It drives me batty. I used my angry voice the other day, which led to you storming off to your room (not uncommon around here) and when I came to calmly talk to you, there was heavy drama: "I just FEEL like something is MISSING in my life!!!" Oh, really, almost 6-year-old? Like what? "I don't know. Like a hamster. Or a roller coaster." Are you trying to tell me you would like to have more fun? "I guess so." Well - you and me both.

I struggle with this: a job worth doing is a job worth doing well the first time. This is important to me and is a lesson I want to teach you and Georgia. And, at the same time, one person can't do everything, no matter how much she tries. I would hate to look back and regret the opportunities we missed. More than anything, I hope you and Georgia continue to help me with this balance and learn from my missteps.  

Speaking of your sister, she is your biggest fan and you are hers. It is adorable to watch. And occasionally maddening as the decibel level reaches higher and higher the closer we get to dinner time. Georgia wants to show you all the new things - "yook at dis, A-yen" - and you long to give her a hug and kiss before bed, even when she turns you away, then comes running when you act like your feelings are hurt. If your Dad and I have done anything right in the last 6 years, it's helping this sister relationship to grow.

I feel so lucky to be your Mom. You are special and interesting and strange and hilarious and maddening and challenging and smarter than I know how to handle at times. I am mildly fearful of the growing pains to come with you, but also thrilled to be a part of it. You are just unique - there is only one Ellen - and people comment on that to us all the time. I guess that's the best birthday wish any of us could have: to be appreciated for exactly who we are.

I love YOU.

Mom


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