Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dearest Katie, on Ten.

First of all, Cheers.  It's your golden or champagne birthday.  You know, the one where your age matches the date.  So, um, Cheers!

You've been dreading this birthday.  For some reason (ahem, your parents) you've gotten the clear impression that being a kid is magical and lovely and that becoming a teen will make you act strangely and then adulthood is just one long exhausting hard day.  You dread birthdays and aging more than any of the 30-somethings that I know.  You didn't want to be 10, you didn't want to hear about how big you were getting or how mature and lovely you were.  Nope nope nope.  The morning of your birthday you stayed in bed reading.  Because nothing says "I'm still young and carefree" like "leave me alone, don't mention my birthday, and get off my lawn".

But you allowed us to celebrate for you, had tacos and mug cakes after an afternoon of swimming at the gym pool, and opened a nice combination of cute clothes (clothes are such a grown up gift!  Oh, but they're cute skirts and shorts and tshirts like always! yay! No business suits just yet.) and crafting kits that hit that sweet spot of a being like a toy without actually being a toy since, at 10 but with technology avoiding parents, it's hard to find many toys that suit you.

You're amazing.  I know every parent says that about their kid, but seriously, you're amazing.  You're smart, creative, and clever, but best of all you are truly kind.  You are always watching to see who might need a little more.  A hug, a hand, a kind word, an extra share of whatever resources you have.   You see into people in a way that seems far too mature for a child and yet far too innocent and compassionate for an adult. You interpret behavior with an assumption that every one you meet is a good, kind, and sometimes hurting person doing the best they can.  I greatly admire this faith you show in humanity.  And within our family, you are always generous with kind words, gratitude, encouragement, and praise.  Even at your most angry, I don't know that I've ever heard you say a mean thing about your brothers.  You'll tell me what they did to anger you; you'll tell me that they are bothering you or that you need a break from them; but insults and name-calling are just not in your nature.  With Maryna you are endlessly hopeful.

Ten years ago I marveled at your tiny person and wondered who you would be. I wondered who I would be as a mom.  I never could have dreamed how much I'd learn from you.  I'm not rushing you to grow up--promise--but I can't wait to see where life leads you.  You're going to change the world.

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