Eleven (Going on Eleven-Teen)

Happy birthday, baby girl! The days are winging past me so fast - I fear you'll be in college before I know it. Right now I complain that you waste too much water with your insanely long showers, but I know the day will come when I will miss hearing you singing into the shower head for 45 minutes straight. Hey, would this be a good time for me to tell the story about all the times you pooped in the tub when you were little?

I am so proud of you and all that you are. You make me crazy with your dilly-dallying and your refusal to be a part of the whole "a place for everything and everything in its place" theory that seems to work for everyone else on the planet, but you just wouldn't be you if you didn't follow your free-spirit heart.

I love your singing. I love your sense of humor. I love how you still call me Mommy sometimes. I love your crazy curls and your expert-level hugs. I'm so happy to see you developing the heart of a volunteer. You understand the value of fostering homeless animals and then letting them go. We also joined the local reptile club so that you can volunteer at their events.

When I was a kid, I loved a book called A Spell for Chameleon. The book takes place in a land called Xanth, where every resident is born with a specific and unique magic power. The main character, Bink, doesn't know what his magic power is and sets out to find out. I know what your magic power is, baby. You make everyone around you feel special. That's an awesome talent indeed. 

What do I want to remember about you at this age? I want to remember that you are growing in your independence. We finally gave you a house key! You're testing the waters and feeling your way through the world. I love the fact that we can talk about weighty topics now that you're a little bit older. We also laugh about dumb jokes together. A couple weeks ago, we were in the car with the puppy and you said, "I can't buckle because Grover is sitting on my butthole."

I replied, "What?! Grover is sitting on your butthole?"

You laughed. "No, Mom! Gross! He's sitting on my buckle."  We still laugh about it all the time.

So, here's to dumb jokes and arguments over just how much lip gloss is appropriate for a fifth grader. Here's to sleeping with Lamby at night and wearing fancy wedge heels during the day. Here's to "can you help me with my hair?" and "stay out of my room!" Here's to "Please buy french bread" and "please stop buying french bread because I don't like it now." Here's to emojis that confuse your old-lady mom and "I love you, Mom" texts that don't.  Here's to you, kid, on your birthday and every day. I love you more than you'll ever know.


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