Musings from Home

Eleven

Tomorrow, this little baby

and this 5-year-old

turns 11.

This is when I would usually talk about how fast the last eleven years have gone or how I’d like to slow down time because my little girl is growing up WAY too fast.

But while both of those things are true, today I’m thinking about how much I love the person Emerald is, and the one she’s becoming. She is a very thoughtful, caring, kind, helpful person, in addition to being smart as a whip, creative, artistic, talented, hardworking, and beautiful. She has got to be the most empathetic person I’ve ever met in my life. She has a true gift for knowing how others are feeling and figuring out how she can help. She is also a wonder with animals. They take to her; they always have.

I also love all the things we can do with her now, now that she’s old enough to enjoy them. This particular train of thought has been gaining speed for a while now. The last two New Year’s Eves, she has made it until midnight, making for a particularly special time. We planned the first part of the night around dinner and then games all four of us enjoy. Then we planned the late night (after 8:30 or 9:00) around movies Emerald, Jim, and I wanted to watch. There was lots of conversation, lots of fun togetherness, and lots of excitement that she was really staying up. At midnight, we toasted the New Year with sparkling apple cider, said goodnight, and hit the hay.

Last weekend, we had another such special evening built around the Super Bowl. No one in our family is a huge fan of either the Patriots or the Giants. Around here, we’re big time Redskins fans (be nice! :)). But, as I used to live in Boston and have therefore had a second tier allegiance of sorts to the Patriots, and since we all agreed that any team that couldn’t beat our dear Redskins this year (the ‘Skins only won 5 games all season, but beat the Giants both times the two teams met) didn’t deserve to be NFL Champs, we rooted for the Patriots. But mostly, it was a family time for us. Sapphire fell asleep just before half-time, but Emerald was very excited to see the commercials (which we promised her were the best part) and the half-time show, so she stayed awake longer. We cheered together. Emerald made up cheers. We chatted. We had the best time, even if our team wasn’t there. And I have to tell you, it was so much fun watching her enjoy Madonna’s performance so much. Madonna, a performer of my era. Emerald is now a fan of her music.

It’s sharing moments like this: sharing memories of my younger days, watching her enjoy things her dad and I enjoyed not that long ago as young, single people, that really highlight how wonderful this age is. She’s old enough to want to hear what we think and to know about our childhood and young adult experiences, but young enough to want to hear what we think and to know about our childhood and young adult experiences. 🙂

I have had more heart-to-heart conversations with Emerald in the last year than I would have imagined. She wants my advice and my opinions, and I love hearing what she thinks and feels about things. She also still likes to cuddle sometimes and she still loves hugs.

What I’m saying is this in-between age — in between being a little kid and being too cool for her parents — is pretty darn awesome, just like she is. I’ll take it and I hope it lasts for more than a second or two, which is how long her young childhood seemed to last (yes, I had to go there). 🙂

Happy Eleventh Birthday, Emerald!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you bunches and am so proud of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Comments on: "Eleven" (4)

  1. Happy birthday! Have fun being eleven! 🙂

  2. Happy Birthday from the English family! Amelia will be sending you something very soon. Have a happy day!

  3. It really is bittersweet to watch our kids grow up. While we I desperately want to slow time down (or freeze it all together), this blog entry is a beautiful reminder that there are still so many great things to come! (It’s incredible how much E at 5 looks like S now.)

    E, I know you read this blog so just wanted to say Happy happy birthday! I ditto all of the wonderful things your mom said about you. I hope your day has been extraordinary.

  4. I cannot believe how tall she’s getting!

    I think 11 is a great age. Almost a teenager, but without all the angst, but also still a girl who likes to play with dolls on occasion.

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