Sunday, December 3, 2017


My sweetest Ellen girl -

NINE sounds old. Big. Real kid stuff. Next year, I'm sure the double digits will throw me for a tailspin. But - the thought that we've had you under our roof for HALF of your "under the roof" time already is just mind boggling. And sad. I'm acutely aware that our family time with you as a child whom we can make decisions for is increasingly short, even without throwing the teenage mayhem smack in the middle.

All this to say that I'm trying to soak in every minute of you. You are delightful and thoughtful and smart and curious and talented and persistent and brave. You also most definitely have moments of angst (some real, most not), poorly timed acute deafness (pick up your shoes!!), sister pestering and drama drama drama. All of it comes with with the package of being a real, dimensional person and I'm (almost always) glad we get to come along for the ride.

You've made so many strides this year with your ukulele and singing and people keep asking where this musical talent comes from?? We are very unsure. Nevertheless, you expressed interest in uke on a whim (thanks, America's Got Talent) and I was willing to give it a go, fully expecting it might fizzle out. Well - here we are about 18 months later and it seems to come so easily to you. You sing All. The. Time. I love watching you hear a song, look it up online and start playing it pretty darn well within minutes. I almost never have to remind you to practice, which is a sign of how much you really love it. Your confidence in being on stage and learning what those stomach butterflies feel like are life skills that I know will take you so far.

You also stretched yourself this year with skateboarding. You enjoy watching our neighbor skate and were totally on-board with a class this summer, but had MAJOR jitters when we pulled up to a skate park full of relatively experienced boys. I pushed you into an uncomfortable situation, knowing that you might storm off in tears, but again - you rose to the occasion. And loved it and learned so much. I hope you know that I've always got your back, but sometimes that means pushing you forward.

Dad and I loved traveling to NYC with you this Fall. I couldn't have been more excited to see Hamilton with you and I hope it's a memory you always have. We had the most excellent trip and you were such a good traveler - helpful and flexible and excited about all of the exciting things. You are so mature and, truly, a great conversationalist - I love sharing "vacation mom" time with you.

You continue to do well in school and I can increasingly see you challenging yourself and noticing how you are doing in comparison with others. I'm doing my best to funnel that competitive spirit in productive ways. Your classmates elected you as a Student Council representative, which was such a nice honor. We talked a lot about what it looks like to be a leader and I hope you hold those lessons close. You have an excellent class this year and have made even more nice friends, all while doing a better job of navigating the normal girl drama.

I can't wait to see what the next year holds for you. I love our little chats and the quick rides to and from lessons are often times you'll pipe up and say, "I wanted to talk with you about this ...". Or, "when we get home later, I have something I want to talk with you about". I do my best to open my ears, really hear you, and give you some perspective on the big picture ... Is this worth discussing? Is this our business? How can we show kindness here? What is the lesson we've learned?" I always, always want to hear what you have to say and am so happy you feel comfortable sharing.

I love you so, so much!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

She's Five!

Georgia, my dear …

FIVE. Five is a big deal. It’s one of those birthday that just smacks you in the face, most certainly not the birthday of a baby or a toddler, but of a real big kid. You’ve been telling people for months that your birthday is coming “after Halloween”. More precisely, the day after. It’s hard to remember a time that was “pre-Georgia”, but I also still have really strong memories of being in the hospital with you as a newborn and can’t believe 5 whole years have passed.

You are a sweet, generous, delightful child with a blossoming sense of humor and the ability to fall ill or tired at the precise moment you don’t want to do something. Don’t like what we’re having for dinner? Tummy hurts. Don’t want to go to bed? Too tired to walk upstairs. It’s amazing – it’s like all the bones in your body turn into noodles.

You love to color and make art projects and will do it all day long if allowed. Cutting and gluing and coloring all over your hands and the table and everything else. Also, it’s a common excuse for why you don’t need a shower – your hands will just have marker on them again! You are very precise and I love to hear your elaborate descriptions of what you’re making. You continue to love packing small items into small bags or purses and then often losing them. I found your fidget spinner the other day after many months of it being lost – it’s like we all won the lottery! You love to play outside with Ellen and are very fast on your scooter. It’s so fun to see you right in the mix with the big kids, very reluctant to ever be left behind.

We are reading James and the Giant Peach right now and recently finished The Witches. Reading Roald Dahl books with children is one of the very best reasons to have kids. You found The Witches a bit spooky, but persisted in finishing and now you like to play “pretend take your wig off”. I love this snuggle time with you. I wish Ellen could always join us, but the truth is that her evening to-do list is increasingly long, and it makes me want to hold on even tighter to this sweet bedtime ritual.

You are so excited to join Ellen at Briarwood and I teasingly tell you every time that you are going to be homeschooled because I can’t bear to miss my Mommy-Georgie day. When Ellen started 3rd grade last fall, I was pretty ready to have you join her. Now, though, I just see the time racing by. At bedtime last night, I reminded you that you only had one day left as a 4-year-old. You said, “It’s OK. I’ll still come to Mommy-Georgie day, but only until I start Kindergarten”. I had to fight back the tears. And then you called out 4 more times – “Mommy! I need to tell you something!” – which really means you need to ask me something, and it’s always way out of left field, making me realize we haven’t left all of that amazing toddler randomness behind just yet. 

You continue to have trouble with describing people as “older” vs. “taller”. You, darling, are now both. You are my favorite errand-running companion. I love the funny faces you make at me in the rearview mirror. I love your passion for doing things yourself. You are kindhearted and generous, often sharing without hesitation, even with your sister who may drive you crazy. You are the worst at hiding in your room before bedtime, but I love watching you try to disguise yourself under your covers. Strangers continue to stop us most anywhere to comment on how beautiful you are. Yes, of course you are, but you are so, so much more than that. Don't ever forget it!

So happy to celebrate you this year!
Love you,


Thursday, April 20, 2017


Today was a good one, Ellen.

I started the morning volunteering at school, sorting books for a book fair. The mom of one of your classmates joined me and told me that you and her daughter were becoming friends and that her daughter came home the other day and said "Ellen is a good friend". There has been an exponential increase in girl drama this year in 2nd grade and we've had so many discussions about it, with many more to come, I'm sure. I was so proud of you. I stopped you when you walked in the door after school - often in the way I do when I have something serious to talk to you about - and told you about the comments and how proud I was. You beamed. I reminded you that grades and achievement are important to me, but that your kindness and ability to be a true friend are the things that will always make me the happiest.

You proceeded to tell me that you worked on some graphing and designing today in class, preparing the butterfly garden. The concept of spacing plants was challenging and you were able to help some classmates figure it out. You said that Ms. Cunningham approached you at recess and told you that you would make a great teacher someday. You were so proud of yourself!

Your first ukulele concert is tomorrow night. I've taken you to almost every lesson since you started in September and today you did such a great job practicing. It seems to come so naturally to you and I'm so proud of your hard work and commitment to seeing it through. I know you are nervous, but can't wait to see you shine on stage.

In the pre-dinner / emptying dishwasher / supposed to be showering stage of the evening, you came downstairs and told me you had figured out the meaning of life. (I'm not exaggerating here - those were your words. This is something you've struggled with for months - wrapping your brain around human existence and the world and the purpose of it all and what happens when we die. Those are big thoughts for a little person, but real ones that you express and struggle to describe). You said "Everyone matters. I think you're supposed to be good and kind so when you die, other people can see the good example that you set". I told you that I thought that was pretty perfect.

We discussed tonight that it's good to recognize the times that you're really happy. I read this once, as a new mom, and it's increasingly true as you get older and so many things compete for your time and memory. Recognize your happiness in the moment. It may last days or hours, but perhaps it's even more fleeting. Nevertheless, it's all important. I told you to save those memories up in a bank for the inevitable days when we don't feel quite so happy.

I love you so much. You are a terrific kid that makes us proud every day.