Tuesday, October 4, 2011

9


Yesterday you turned 9. It's amazing how time flies. This weekend you sat in my lap, and I thought of how I used to hold you, a newborn, in one arm. With the way you're growing you'll be taller than me in no time. And that's no small feat, as I'm 5'10". You used to say you wanted to be as tall as daddy (6'5"). Do you still want that?

I'm grateful you still sit in my lap. Occasionally you'll hold my hand walking home from the bus stop or crossing a street. Briefly, so briefly, and I remember how much I've always loved the feel of your soft hand in mine.

You're a Daddy's girl through and through. He's clearly your favorite person in the world, and you miss him when he's gone and rejoice in his returning. He tickles you and calls you his weasel and you squeal in protest, loving every minute of it.

You lost your grandfather this year, and handled his last days with so much love and grace. You spent endless hours over several months at his bedside, and it's no secret you were his favorite visitor. On his last night you shared a meal of macaroni and cheese and ice cream. The next morning you sat in the the living room with his lifeless body before the funeral home came to take him away. In the weeks that followed we talked about life and death and God and heaven and your late Uncle Greg. I explained cremation and tried to talk with you about soul.

It's been a hard year for me, and I wonder how much that has effected you. I know my patience and creativity and energy have been lagging, and I'm sorry for the times that I snapped at you and wasn't up to playing.

You're on the edge of childhood and the tween years. You still play with Barbies and Zoobles and Littlest Pet Shop. You're starting to take some flack for that. A girl in your class made fun of you for taking home the empty tissue box to make a home for your LPS. You were hurt by that, but I was proud to see you bring home another empty box a few days later. Stuffed animals trail behind you wherever you go, and you rotate your favorites. You love real animals, too, of all ilk. Foxes are your latest favorite. I'm not quite sure yet how I'll help you be a fox for Halloween.

As you get older I feel more pressure to pass on the things I want you to learn, most importantly to be KIND first. I'm also trying to figure out how to help you see things from a different point of view and to not take everything so personally. As an only child there are experiences you've lacked that might have helped you learn these things. I'm trying to help you navigate the waters of interacting with others.

You have some great friends, friends who love to play and laugh and be silly. I hope these friends become lifelong rocks for you.

9 years. Thank you for sharing your life with us for 9 years. You're halfway to adulthood. Halfway to college. I wish sometimes I could make time stand still, or reverse it. But we are here, now. Let's enjoy every minute.

10 comments:

Magpie said...

Happy birthday to your little fox.

alejna said...

This was wonderful. I'm so glad that you are making this record for her. What a beautiful thing.

And I can't believe she's already 9! (Halfway to adulthood! That startled me.)

De said...

Just beautiful!

Mary G said...

Tough to lose the baby, but wonderful to have the growing girl. I think I enjoyed the years from eight to twelve the most.
And I'm glad she plays with her Barbies and little animals - that's perfect. My girls did too, although one of them was obsessed with crafts and sewing as well.
How are the aching dance muscles?

imbeingheldhostage said...

:-( Blogger is being very rude...

I hope you got my last two comments. I'll check again later in case you're just moderating.

imbeingheldhostage said...

**nevermind** sorry.

What I said was... This is a beautiful birthday tribute post!! It made me tear up. One day she will treasure this chance to see herself in your eyes.

Kyla said...

Happy 9th birthday to your precious girl!

E said...

I loved loved loved this.
It made me cry. But I think it is a happy cry...too soon to tell really.
Give the MayQueen a hug from Vermont. My girl used to take more stuff for Barbie stuff on overnights than for herself. I loved that time. but the next bits are good too. The trick is pay attention to the good stuff at every stage. You two are lucky lucky girls....

slouchy said...

She is beautiful, and so are you.

kaye said...

Happy Birthday to the May Queen--growing up is very hard on mothers (and grandmothers)