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!


Anonymous said...

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See what this girl was caught doing with a guy in public!

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