By some unexplained time warp or black hole or something equally complicated, you’re nine. Nine years ago, you that made me a mama and it changed the trajectory of my life forever. I’ve thanked you for it a million times before but I haven’t expressed gratitude for your eternal patience with me as I grow up alongside you. You’re the guinea pig, kid. Every thing I know about being a parent, you taught me. Every day with you is…new. Uncharted territory through which I’m floating with only your reactions and honesty to guide me. Constantly seeking an equilibrium and often failing, too much of something and not enough of another. My only hope is that you know I am trying…really trying all the time.
Despite my novice parenting skills, you are amazing. Goofy with a big personality, keen to make everyone around you laugh and feel like part of the crew. Forever poised in-between people, keeping the peace, even when you probably should mind ya business, and desperate to keep the good times rolling. Smart too. I’m not sure I’m ready for you to be in 4th grade and mentally prepared for another year of advanced placement but you are so excited for the challenge and spending the last week of summer break revisiting your multiplication tables.
You feel deeply, whether that means crying that the mean dog that tries to bite you all the time got left out in the snow, protesting the injustice of the bus driver yelling at an autistic boy sitting two rows behind you, or being real, real mad about a punishment you consider unfair.
You are the best big sister. Patient (mostly) with Indy when he doesn’t deserve it, including him in your pack of neighborhood friends despite the fact he’s 6 years younger than everyone else. Likewise, you are so sweet with Hank, forever rocking and loving up on him whenever I ask and even when I don’t. Even changing the occasional diaper.
This year we spent your birthday at Brown County State Park camping and grilling. Hiking, swimming, and swinging in the hammock. Laying out in the sun, eating too many smores and listening to the crickets sing just like you wanted.
Right now you love horses, being outside, swimming, dance parties, sushi, riding bikes, and driving around with the windows down and the radio up. Your obsession with unicorns, sparkles, and anything hot pink seems like it’s here to stay. You are wonderfully you. I’m so happy the universe choose your old, sweet, dramatic, funny soul to be matched with mine.
Love you, so, so much. All the time. Every minute.