Tuesday, February 24, 2015

11 is heaven

Dear N,

Tomorrow you turn 11 years old.  Your Daddy and I remark all the time that we simply can't believe how old you are, how tall you are, and that you are our first baby.

I still remember bringing you home from the hospital on a Friday evening and thinking, "Now what?"  Feeling lost and overwhelmed and astounded that the hospital administrators would allow us to leave with you since we hadn't a clue as to what we were doing.

You may be surprised to know that, for the most part, I still feel that way.  "Now what?," I find myself thinking.  Kids think their parents know what they're doing, but we don't.  We spend your childhood just winging it and knowing that what worked with you probably isn't going to work for and on your brothers.

Somehow, despite all of our flaws and awkward decisions, you are turning out to be a wonderful person, a person that both Daddy and I think we'd like to be friends with one day when we aren't so much in the roll of being your parents.

I see so much of your Daddy in you.  You have his sense of humor.  You don't always say funny things, and you are often not funny when you try to be, but when you do it quietly and it is just a thoughtful remark that slips out I howl.

You are so good an entertaining yourself now and so creative in the paths you take to be entertained.  You are always making things for your American Girl dolls, which is lovely even if you steal my scissors and yarn and tape to do it (and never return them).

I know you are changing.  You have started to request privacy and no longer drop your clothes in front of anyone anymore.  I don't mind this, mostly because your little brothers are still firmly ensconced in the stage of running around half-naked.  It is normal; you are growing up before my eyes.

As hard as it is for me to remember the child you used to be, the child I used to know, it is even more hard to anticipate who you might be, what you might look like as you grow up.  As a result, I feel like I am pretty good at seeing you, enjoying you for who you are right this moment.

I am always, always grateful to have another female in the house, although I reserve the right to change my mind if we ever have our monthly cycles in sync.

I couldn't ask for a better daughter.

I hope you enjoy your birthday celebrations and that your 11th year is the best one yet of many, many more to come!

I love you sweet farty girl,

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