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Today You Are Eleven

2018 April 9

Today you are eleven.

A whole new decade, a whole new journey, a whole new phase of life. For both of us.

Today you are tall for your age. Already topping one of your grandparents and edging in closely on another one of them. Your build and stature are all me. But a little bit cooler.

Today you are Descendants and Zombies and something called Vampirina. You want to watch your shows on your own, without your little brother in tow. And sometimes, he lets you.

Today you are a voice to be reckoned with. Confident, secure, inspired. I can only hope that you keep even a bit of that in the years to come.

Today you are legs. All legs. And even though they look best in skinny jeans, you prefer boot cut. No one even makes boot cut anymore. But I will keep trying to find them.

Today you are letting your hair down for the first time in your life. You are not 100% comfortable with it but you’re 25% comfortable with it, 25% of the time. And it looks beautiful every time.

Today you are still a reader. A lot of your friends are on screens a lot. YouTube, Musically, apps of all kinds. But you still prefer a trip to the library and endless free time to just read a book. And one of my favorite things in the world is sitting right next to you, reading mine.

Today you are a picky eater. Still. Sigh. Pasta, rice, chicken. But you eat steamed broccoli like it’s pizza. So there’s that.

Today you are fitting into some of my clothes. The ones from when I was a little skinnier. The shoes that I was about to donate to Goodwill. It makes me happy and sad at the same time.

Today you are ready for middle school. A few more months of elementary school lay ahead of you but your mind and focus have already moved on. I remember your first day of first grade like it was yesterday. I guess time just does that to all of us. It moves on.

Today you are ice cream cake and sleepovers and The Greatest Showman with your friends.

Today you are a good friend to many and a best friend to few. You haven’t fallen into the “clique-y” aspect of girlhood yet. You can hang with a different kid every day of the week and be perfectly content. I know that in the big picture of life, this quality will be an amazing one to have. I know that in the short term of middle school, however, it may feel like a bad thing. I hope to be able to show you why it’s not.

Today you are coming to marches with me to fight for gun control and asking about school shootings and seeing the world around you in a grown up way, for the first time. You don’t seem scared of it. Yet. May you always keep that fearlessness in your back pocket.

Today you are sleeping in and staying up a little later than usual. The mornings are nice. The late bedtimes, not so much. But I know that your brain and your body are going through a lot right now so whatever patterns fall into place are ok by me.

Today you make us proud. Your kindness, your compassion, your sense of responsibility and your confidence. Your brains and your determination. Your everything. We are proud of every single piece of it.

Today you are ripped jeans and black Converse and denim jackets and t-shirts from the boys department and an arm full of bracelets. It’s all amazing.

Today you are eleven. The first year of the next decade. The last of the first. And there will be ice cream cake to celebrate it. Because it deserves to be celebrated.

Happy birthday, D. x

One Response
  1. Karsha Chang permalink
    April 9, 2018

    Amazing – just like her momma. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, D!!!!!!!!!

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