You are a “tween” as you so delightedly called yourself this morning. Double Digits. In between.
I haven’t seen you play with your Barbie House in months, but you asked for PJ’s that matched your doll for Christmas.
You still love to cuddle, but haven’t come down scared at night in a long time.
Back and Forth. Childhood to young womanhood. But mostly, forth.
You have grown in confidence this year. At some point you realized that if you set a goal and work really hard you will almost always accomplish it. I say almost always, not because you’ve failed – you haven’t – but because sometimes circumstances beyond our control affect achievement.
You are resilient. After hearing about the HAL (high ability learners) class from Josh. You decided you wanted to test for it. You did. You didn’t get in. You cried for a minute and then asked me what you could do better. We decided reading a lot was the best way to progress. You read for an hour almost everyday for several months. This year, you tested again and scored in the very top percentile for reading. You got in. And you love it. You amaze me. But, I have a feeling that if you would have tested every year and never made it, you would have shaken it off and moved on. The same characteristic holds true when you get in trouble or do something you feel bad about. You cry for a minute, resolve to do better, and move on. It’s beautiful to watch.
This year in soccer, you played boys teams. Your team lost at first, but you all worked hard to be better. And you started to win. Once your team started to win, you haven’t stopped. The hard work has been good for you, and so has the playing against boys. You realized that you could do anything that boys could do. It bled into the rest of your life. You became attuned to any suggestion that you couldn’t do something because you were a girl and shut it down, sweetly, but determinedly. It has made you a champion of everyone and instilled a belief that anyone can do anything they want to: boy or girl. A couple of weeks ago you asked if you could wear pants to church. I asked why you wanted to, you said, “Because they’re comfy and because boys can.” I told you yes but they had to be nice pants and that you had to be prepared for some questions. You smiled. Put on pants, high heels, curled your hair and didn’t seem concerned in the least what anyone else thought.
You ask questions. Lots of questions. Questions about equality, God, gender, science, geology, language. They are getting harder to answer and they make me think too. I love them. You also give answers. You have a unique way of looking at the world that is pure, merciful and just. When you were little you asked that Heavenly Father “bless all the naked people” every, single. time. That same concern is still inside you, and when you can, you clothe them yourself.
You are a nurturer. When I’m not around AJ runs to you when he’s hurt. I can trust you to take care of all of us. Last week when I was sick, you took care of AJ, did the dishes and told me, “Lay down Mom I’ve got this.”
You have so many talents, I can’t wait to see how you use them. You’ve moved past wanting to be a waitress/barbie/rockstar and have moved on to professional soccer player. I wouldn’t put it past you – but I’m sure you’d be writing stories, riding horses, and selling something you made on the side.
This year the phrase, “Become as a little child” has run through my head repeatedly. Often, because I want to be more like you. But also because I like to pretend you’re still a “little child”…
Love you forever,