It's 9:30 a.m. on your birthday. You went to sleep late last night after hosting 16 (!) girls for your birthday party. And still at 9:30, you have already opened 16 gifts, run a 5K and are happily playing away at a friend's house before you head out to your 1 p.m. lacrosse game. Phew! You are a force of nature!
It's funny how when I take the time to reflect about how you have evolved over the past year how much I realize that you are who you are and some parts of you will forever remain unchanged parts of your personality. Things like your joie de vivre, your perseverance and your general "more the merrier" inclusiveness.
My goodness, do I love that inclusiveness part of your personality. It manifests itself as pure kindness. (It also means that you have extremely large birthday parties!) Your kindness means that you are aware when someone is feeling a little bit left out or on the fringes. I have watched quietly from the sidelines as you pull that girl in so that she feels right in the center of it all. I am so proud that this behavior comes naturally to you.
You have this air of confidence about you and perhaps only I know that it is fragile. I am not sure why it is so fragile given your friendliness, your intelligence, your athletic prowess, your beauty. More on those in a minute, but first this fragility. I see it behind closed doors in our home when you wonder aloud if I will give you the same special attention and care that I give to your brother (of course I will!). Will I plan a celebration of you becoming a bat mitzvah with a same focus on the details that I did for your brother. Will I be class mom, run the fifth grade pool party, show up to your games and concerts, hold your hand and snuggle you for as long as you want me to? Will I write you a birthday blog post and decorate your bedroom door so you wake up to birthday balloons? Mom, have you started my birthday blog post yet like you wrote for Alex? The answer to all of these questions is yes, yes, yes of course! I try not to get annoyed with this uncertainty and I fail sometimes, but will continue to try to do better to build that confidence in you.
You should be confident that you can do ANYTHING! That was the message of your Girls on the Run club and it's so true. You ran a 5K today! You are strong, friendly, smart, athletic and beautiful inside and out!
This year I have watched you take on all academics with ease. Something clicked in your brain with math and you went from it being a real chore in second grade to easy-breezy this year. You have been my reader kid for some time now, really enjoying books. You have a voracious appetite for books reading two or three in any given week. I am so happy that we share the joy of getting lost in a good book.
And yes, the sports. This year, you continued with soccer (and when you apply yourself, you actually make a difference on the field), started lacrosse (I'm so excited to watch you play this afternoon) and started rec basketball with the inimitable Coach Eric. I think that your dad is most excited about this love of basketball that you have developed. Due to an HBO mini series that you and Daddy watched together, you have amazing role models in the form of the UCONN women's basketball team. Almost every evening since the spring has arrived, when dad gets home, you ask if he will go out on the driveway and practice basketball with you. I think his heart is bursting and his pride is beaming. I hope you continue to love being active and being part of a team as you grow.
So my girl who still likes to snuggle with her mama (even though you mostly call me Mom these days), I can't wait to see what lies in store in the year to come given all you have achieved in the past year.
As always, I love you with all my heart,