Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear Julia,

As I write you are sound asleep. I know because I just checked in on your sleeping self, tall body curled, scraped knees and bruises punctuating your long legs. It's official: you're six years old today. SIX! When I first began this blog you were only two. I can't get over how much you've grown up this year, literally and otherwise. You are completely new and yet completely familiar.

I think you will always be a lover of nature. Pill bugs have grasped your curiosity lately and you have adopted one from the backyard you have named Carson. We had bad ants in our kitchen and you were very upset that daddy was putting out traps to capture them. You are a lover of animals, especially dogs. Whenever we go to someone's house who has a dog, you spend most of the time hanging out with the dog. The other day we were all riding in the car and you said you wanted a dog that wore clothes. You would have loved a pet turtle or lizard for your birthday. Nothing grosses you out. You hold pythons, you let slugs slide across your hand.

These days you spend your down time listening to books like Ramona and Her Father and Because of Winn Dixie on CD. Sometimes you listen to them twice. We still read together, too. If you could be anywhere, you would choose to be outside, riding your bike, playing with the neighbor boys, running and wild. Dresses are kind of a thing of the past, now you mostly wear skirts and sometimes even....the ocasional pair of jeans. Keens are always on your feet. You love riding your bike to school, trailing mommy and Avery in the Burley. You are into the Smurfs and playing school, and frequently suggest that we should make clothes for The Littles, though your mother never really helps you bring that desire to fruition. Now, you see the woods as I used to, imagining the Brook Tinies playing on the banks of a creek. You have discovered KidzBop and sing the songs not quite understanding their meaning, but more sophisticated when belting the lyrics in your perfect pitch. Your dancing has sassed up a bit, too: lots of shoulder moves and quick turns. The ultimate compliment to you right now is to say, "Hi, Nancy Drew." We recently saw that movie and you LOVED IT.

When it's time to eat you try bites of new foods, thanks to the rule we initiated at a family meeting. This is a HUGE change because you used to see new foods and FREAK OUT about them. Oddly, you also used to say, "I'll eat it when I'm six," but so far becoming six has not made you a completely different eater. Pancakes are your favorite food. You love it when I give you whipped cream "stars" on your hand. You've discoverd Edamame and that Pizza isn't bad. At meals, it is also IMPOSSIBLE to get you to sit at the table in your chair. You perch on the side of your chair, or prefer moving or walking around while you eat. The one thing that seems to work is if I suggest you sit like Nancy Drew, straight, in front of your plate.

You have a heart wide and deep. You handle disappointment better that you used to though you still get very embarrassed if you think an adult telling a story about you is laughing at you or that you are in trouble. That will probably never be comfortable for you. We work through it, often in a pile where you've knocked me, but we do. These days your sister really gets under your skin especially when she's in your space and you don't want her to be. You say, "Selfish!" in this taunting way when someone isn't helping you get your way. Despite your ability to be intense, in many ways you are easygoing. You notice things, like the breezes and the scenery. We sat together next to the lake last weekend when we were camping and you noticed how beautiful it was. I hope you are always able to connect with life this way and say something appreciative about it.

You have made lots of friends in kindergarten this year, and have still kept a special spot in your heart for your friends from preschool, Wynne and Jordan. You are quite tight with Zayla in your class, though had no problem listing off about ten names of classmates that you would have invited to your birthday party. School has been good for you this year. You've become a reader, somewhat reluctantly, but you are blossoming in your abilities despite the fact that you are also ready for a break. You have begun writing daily e-mails to Grandma Z. One of your birthday gifts was a new special notebook that you were very delighted to have, and that you promptly set about to write in about life.

This year I brought Krispy Kremes to your class in celebration of your birthday. Sister and I drove to pick them up and the boxes were warm. When we came into your classroom your face lit up when you saw us. I was feeling especially sentimental, realizing that we were taking time out of your school day to celebrate you. Everyone sang and waited for you to have the first bite and then it was all over. There were many thank yous but at the end your, "Thanks for bringing donuts, mom," meant so much. I was also flooded with amazement about how fast the year has gone and where you stand now, ready to end one chapter: kindergarten, and move onto the big times: first grade!

While mourning the tiny bits of you that are falling away in your trail, I love who you are becoming. You laugh with abandon. Keep laughing that way. You play with zeal. Always play like that. You are a beautiful person and your life stretches before you with promise and hope. I am lucky, so very lucky, to be able to be along beside you, watching who you become.

I love you!


Anonymous said...

Beautiful letter, Tse! To remember when you were 6 and to look at what a beautiful, intelligent,women you have become provides a lens through which to see the possibilities that lie ahead for your little dollies. ~m

toddderrick said...

Tia, I've officially decided you can't write these letters anymore. I end up a puddle!!