Today You Are Eight
Today you are eight.
Last year you turned seven and seven is my lucky number. But I am thinking of changing it to eight, just because of you.
Today you are in second grade. You still have days where you don’t want to leave my side at drop off. You cling to me, sometimes with a tear in your eye, not even giving your 20+ classmates a second glance. Other days, you run to them and never look back. I guess that’s second grade.
Today you weigh 61 lbs. You get excited with every pound you gain and I love that excitement because I know it won’t be there forever. You are still very tall for your age. It’s the first thing people comment on when they meet you and I can see how it brings a tinge of insecurity to your eyes every time. I know that won’t be there forever, either.
Today you are still a voracious reader. We go to the library and take out ten books at a time and you read them in two days. And then you ask to go back.
Today (well, last week) you placed third in the second grade Spelling Bee. You got out on the word “electric.” That is a tough word. I was more nervous than you were.
Today you still eat a lot of pasta. You like bagels and waffles and yogurt and apples. You do better with vegetables than fruit and you are proving to be quite the carnivore…an animal-loving carnivore, of course. You are very concerned about where your chicken comes from…but then you’re happy to eat it.
Today you befriend the quiet kids and make them loud. I hope you do that forever.
Today you dream of puppies. You live for puppies. Some days, you pretend to be a puppy. You don’t know this, but you’ll get one soon enough. We promise.
Today you are starting an exciting new year. We’re moving to a new house, you’ll be starting at a new school, you will have a whole new neighborhood of friends to meet. I know you are excited and scared at the same time. And I know you will do great.
Today you like to sing along to radio hits in the backseat. You know the words to Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars and The Lumineers. You start to sing softly and then when I tell you I love your voice and I crank it up, you belt it out and you absolutely shine.
Today you are bold and shy all at once.
Today you have your first real pair of lace up sneakers and every morning you work really hard to tie them extra tight so they will stay secure all day. I think part of you wants to give up and go back to the ease of velcro…and I kind of don’t blame you.
Today your teachers say you are sharp, creative, worldly. But maybe a bit of a daydreamer. That’s ok with me.
Today you want your new room to be turquoise. No more pink. I don’t think you ever liked the pink.
Today you are showing tiny signs of your looming adolescence. A little more insecurity, a hint of attitude here and there, the need for solitude and quiet once in a while. I see the signs. I thought they would scare me, but they don’t. They excite me. I can’t wait to see the girl, young lady and woman you become. Because I know she is going to be really cool.
Today you are learning to play tennis. You need some practice, but you don’t mind. You are learning to speak French, too. You only go “because your mom makes you,” but I don’t mind. You will thank me for it some day.
Today you are getting balloons and cake and lots of love. And today we get you. And that is the greatest gift of all.
Happy birthday, Little D.