Saturday, December 3, 2016

Eight is Great!

Sweet Ellen -

Eight just seems like a really great age, doesn't it? I've been telling people for the last few months that I have an "almost 4-year-old and an almost 8-year-old", which then morphed into a "4 and 8-year-old", so I actually had to check myself the other day: you are still 8, not 9 quite yet, though you act more like 16. In fact, we shared your birthday treats with the school office staff yesterday and one of them said, "Oh! You do look older!" and you replied, with perfect timing, "and definitely more mature".

That's you, in a nutshell. Hilarious, either loudly or quietly, with perfect timing. I love watching you in a crowd and am proud of how you find your place, something that does not always come easily to me (though your father? Yes - just the same as you). I am also trying my best to funnel that spark into appropriate behavior, as you walk that fine line in most cases.

This week, for some reason, I keep seeing glimpses of your baby face as you make certain expressions or say things in a certain way. Much of it has been when you've been telling me stories or describing something you learned at school - I think it's that sense of wonder I see in you as you figure something out. You are so curious and love learning and I love to watch you learn. You are a reading machine and I hope you always treasure that as a nice way to find some time for yourself.

Despite your independence, you still are very snuggly and DEMAND hugs and kisses, even if I've just given you a hug and kiss downstairs. You stand in your doorway and wave goodbye to me and say, "have a good night!" as I walk down the stairs after putting you to bed. As we read (all Harry Potter, all the time), you generally are as physically close to me as you can get. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a snake pit, with all the arms and legs everywhere. I'm also acutely aware, now more than ever, that the day is coming when you won't want anything to do with me. So, I'll take these snuggles and add them to my memory bank for later.

You started ukulele lessons this year and have been really enjoying it, as have the rest of us! I am somewhat surprised your interest has stayed strong, as you tend to jump from interest to interest quickly, but the performer in you shines. I am proud of you for singing and playing in front of groups - something I would never feel comfortable doing - and pushing through, even when you feel nervous. In fact, our lives are FILLED with music, as you are constantly singing, humming, tapping your hands or feet, even when (especially when) it drives your mother crazy. I'm intrigued to see where this passion takes you in life.

We've started to navigate the world of "girl relationships" and I will do my best to guide you. My close girl friends are one of the most important things in my life, some of whom I've known since I was your age! By the same token, girl friendships can be fraught with drama. I'm doing my best to instill in you the importance of kindness, inclusion, honesty and integrity.

I was so impressed with the interest you took in the elections this year and couldn't have been prouder to have you voting with me. I was, and remain, shocked and sad about the outcome, but I cried real tears imagining how I would tell you what happened. My fear about the impact on our community at large is buffered by my hope for our family. You are getting to be old enough to understand some of the harsh realities of the world we live in, but also old enough to participate in change and that, my friend, is exciting.

I can't wait to watch you do great things this year!

Love you so much!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


Darling Georgia -

Does it seem like time passes so quickly to you, too? You are now the age that Ellen was when we brought you home from the hospital, which just seems impossible. Your baby days do actually seem like they were a long time ago - I remember it all pretty vaguely - but it's more that I can't believe Ellen is four whole years older, too. Funny how time does that.

You continue to be a delightful, spirited child. Also, quite beautiful, as all parents think of their children, but people stop and tell us that about you all the time. In fact, I want to say to them, "Yes! Of course she is pretty. But she's clever! And you should hear her laugh when she's tickled! And her favorite food is cheese!" There are so many more interesting things about you than how you look and I hope you always believe that.

You are very much a momma's girl. In fact, not long ago, we were walking somewhere hand in hand (always, with you) and you just kind of whispered, "you're my favorite". I told you that wasn't very nice and I knew that you loved Ellen and Dad, too, and you corrected yourself and said, "oh, of course I do!". :) Your preference for all things MOM does occasionally drive the rest of us crazy, but I know this time will pass. We do get each other, you and me. Cut from the same cloth.

Your interests these days are very similar to Ellen's at your age and, well, Ellen's now. You love her so much and follow her around and would do most everything with her (if she lets you). You are the best of friends and can, just as fast, push each others buttons and both end up crying. In fact, Ellen is always wanting to give you a hug and a kiss goodnight and you often refuse her - asserting control in your world, a one that is a little less effusive than your sister's. I think you two are at the sweet spot of sisterly friendship where you still have similar interests. I know this will wax and wane over the years, but I will do my very best to keep your tether to each other strong.

You could spend all day coloring and cutting paper into tiny pieces and hoarding small objects into some type of small container. SO SO many treasures, it's hard for me to keep track. You are just starting to enjoy being read to, something I love to see as I was pretty sure we had ruined your interest in reading as a 2nd child whose parents were too tired to read to her as much as the 1st.

My favorite things about you these days are your attempts to order the world (counting / days of the week / how many people at each place). We often use a hand to count down to some anticipated event - "Mom! My birthday will be on the pinkie!". We've been telling make believe stories at bedtime and I like to make funny faces - surprised, sad, angry - and I love to watch your face mimic mine unintentionally. You love to snuggle, but there are fewer requests for "uppy" these days - much happier to do it yourself, as long as we're holding hands, of course. You are sensitive, oh so sensitive, and cry with the least insult (maddening), but also cry when others are hurt or sad, so all is forgiven.

I can't wait to see what the next year holds for you. Just this week, as we were all standing at the bus stop in the morning, I almost just pushed you right into the group of kids boarding the bus. You seem to be a part of the crowd and like you're almost ready to be there. In fact, it's quite a long time until you start kindergarten, but I know it's really off to the races after that. I'll cherish this time of you figuring out you. Thanks for letting us be a part of it.

Love you to pieces, my Sweet Georgie.