You've grown so much this year. Not just physically, though you've certainly shot up in height, and are just a few inches shorter than me. I see the growth that is taking place inside you as well: mentally, emotionally, spiritually and in many other ways. In nothing else have I been so fortunate in life as in having been given the gift that is you. Childhood is fleeting, and I try to make the most of every day with you. Some days I come home tired and exhausted, and wishing I could do more for you. But I do the best I can, and I know you will always know how much I love you.
Seeing the changes that are taking place every day makes me want to hang on to these days, and hold them in the palm of my hands forever. But as I know that cannot happen, I want to atleast journal and document some of the changes I've witnessed:
You're growing into a beautiful young girl (inside and out). As your own mother, I shouldn't be the one to say it, but looking at you takes my breath away.
You started gymnastics this year. At 5'4", you tower over all the other petite girls, much like your mother did when I was your age. But you lack nothing in grace, and I can see your confidence building with each new thing you learn.
You've expressed a desire to play soccer, so we'll start that this year as well. I'm thrilled that you're finally showing interest in sports!
You love to read, and your favorite pastime is spending hours reading books. Your reading program at school requires you to read 500 pages every nine weeks. At this point the total requirement for the school year so far has been 1500 pages. You've already logged over 12,000 pages! You enjoyed the Lemony Snicket series and are constantly reading multiple books at the same time.
You spent a whole weekend researching Native Americans and doing a written report to turn in to Mrs. Conley - just because you wanted to! It was your idea, it wasn't assigned as a homework project, but you showed such initiative in doing this extra work. I was so proud of you!
You spend hours with your friends listening to your favorite band (One Direction) and you have a crush on Niall.
You really truly believe that girls can do anything boys can do!
You stand up for yourself and for others when you witness someone being treated unfairly - so proud of you!
You are very sensitive to the needs of others - something I love about you!
You love telling me things you learned at school - explaining photosynthesis, chemical reactions and things you learn about the Native Americans. Your vocabulary has improved even though you make me smile at times with your usage (you asked me what happens when someone goes into a "comma", and I couldn't help but giggle when I explained that it was a "coma", not a "comma").
Your best friends are Rachel, Mattie and Lauren - you text Rachel a lot. You and Lauren are frequent playmates and you make up dances, sing out loud to One Direction, make homemade videos of each other, have fashion shows and generally enjoy being girls!
You have a burgeoning sense of fashion which is different from mine! You love clothes and accessories from Justice and lean towards bright neon colors and wild animal prints.
The years you spent in private school at Ecole Francaise made you a sensitive and loving child, particularly around children younger than you. You love your cousins and are loving and caring when three year old Vishnu follows you around everywhere.
You need your "me" time just like Mommy - and you spend it doing projects, arts and crafts, reading, listening to music, or painting your nails.
You are a homebody and prefer staying at home to going anywhere.
You enjoy being a girl scout, even though we have to push you out the door to scout meetings.
Your favorite snack is hot chocolate and popcorn during a movie.Your favorite movie right now is Despicable Me. You quote from it frequently.
You love Friday night pizza night and love Donato's pizza with sausage. Your favorite breakfast is chocolate chip pancakes, made by Mom on Saturday mornings.
You love your Goldendoodle Murphy like a sibling and take good care of him.
You still love having Mommy read you bedtime stories and tucking you in with a glass of warm milk.
You just started sleeping in your own bed, after seven years of sleeping with Mommy in her bed. That was bittersweet for me - I miss cuddling you at bedtime, but know that I have to let you grow up.... even though I can't help but want to say to you....