Monday, October 11, 2004

Double Digits

It is amazing to me that today The Little One hit a milestone. Today, October 11 my baby hit "double digits." She has turned 10. It seems like only yesterday I was holding the most precious 7lbs 2oz I had ever seen in my life. I know that I write alot about "trying episodes" in our lives. They're all true, but sometimes I sound like I'm complaining. I'm really not, as I wouldn't have it any other way. So I thought I would sit down tonight after she's gone to bed, and tell all of you what I told her this evening - why I think she's the coolest little girl I've ever met.

First, The Little One has always been incredibly sweet. Not always to me, of course, but there is a sweetness and kindness about her that I admire. She was a sweet baby who rarely cried, slept well and smiled ALOT. Now at 10, I see these qualities in her and I am so proud. She loves old people. She likes spending time with them, she's interested in what they have to say. She gets very sad if she sees an old man or woman she thinks is alone, eating in a restaurant or out on the street. She also loves animals, and cares very deeply about them.

The Little One possesses great empathy for other people. Once last year her teacher fell off a chair. The teacher told me the other kids were barely phased by it, but The Little One was right there all worried about her and helped her get up. She then cautioned the teacher for the rest of the year anytime the teacher thought about standing on a chair again. Of course, if she found me splayed out on the floor, she'd probably just step over my body to get to the fruit roll-ups. But she feels so deeply for others. There was a girl in her class awhile back who always ate lunch by herself because none of the other kids would sit with her - they thought she was weird. The Little One sat started eating lunch with her, which really touched the other kid. The Little One sat with her and asked what she was drawing, etc. and they became friends. In fact, since The Little One is pretty popular, other kids started sitting with this girl at lunch too and even playing with her at recess.

The Little One is an individual. She's a leader, not a follower. She has her own style, that I've mentioned before. It's kind of a punk skater jock thing with some Elmo thrown in. Kids copy her style, which annoys her sometimes but I think she's finally beginning to understand that it's a form of flattery. I love her style, too. She revels in her individuality. It's something I was always afraid to do - to stand out. I wore what everyone else was wearing. The Little One, on the otherhand, is a trend setter. She doesn't care what others think. She likes riding her skateboard to and from school when we have time. She's the only girl on her soccer team that wears black nail polish and now that it's colder, a skater knit hat to practice. She paints her nails purple and black (she's wearing a purple and black french manicure thing right now) and neon green, blue, orange and/or yellow. She likes plaid and monkeys. She wears what SHE likes. To heck with everyone else. She has courage.

The Little One is creative beyond belief. She draws for the sheer love of drawing. Recently she has created her own card game - like Yu Gi Oh or Neo Pets. She made up the game, created all the cards, even the packaging. Once I sent her to her room with the instruction that she not come back down until the room was cleaned. After not hearing anything from her for 2 hours I snuck up and checked in. She had shoved all the crap out of the middle of her floor to the sides of the room. In the middle she had built, out of construction paper, and entire city in 3D. Castles, markets, ponds, etc. She was inspired by the town in The Princess Bride. Not quite what I had in mind when I said "clean your room," but what can you do? Her creativity amazes me. Her art teacher loves her. The teacher pointed out what she called The Little One's "special talent" in an assignment they had to do, where everyone had to copy Van Gogh's Sunflowers. The whole class painted flowers in a vase, as did The Little One, but all the other kids used the colors of the original - subdued golden tones. Not The Little One, though. Her vase and flowers were multi-colored and vibrantly painted. I think that's how she sees and lives life. Vibrantly.

The Little One is a study in contrasts. She's fearless and tough as nails, taking an elbow to the jaw without missing a beat and going on to score a goal. She revels in a successful slide tackle on a larger boy. She will take on any hill or jump on her skateboard, roller blades or bike. Road rash from a wreck? No problem. Huge bruise from taking a cleat on the thigh from an opposing player? No biggie. But she doesn't tolerate a small scrape or papercut with out lots of kisses, boo boo cream and a band-aid.

The Little One has a song in her heart. She loves music of all kinds. Everything from Blue Man Group to Evanescence to Avril Lavigne to 10,000 Maniacs to Anne Murray. If she's not listening to it, she's singing it. She makes up some of the most incredible songs. There are times I walk by her room and just stop and enjoy listening to her when she doesn't know I'm there. She'll sing for hours, and she doesn't require accompaniment.

The Little One is my cuddler. She loves to snuggle up in my lap. The most difficult times I have getting up in the mornings occur when she has crawled into bed with me and burrowed in. I could stay cuddled up to her for hours. She loves kisses and hugs. And while I am no longer allowed to embarrass her (I still do) with my funny dances or songs in front of her friends, she still gets a kick out of me in the privacy of our home. She will still run up and hug & kiss me in front of her school when I pick her up, regardless of who is watching.

The Little One loves her family, though she certainly wouldn't admit it out loud. She's her brother's biggest defender, even if he doesn't need it. She adores movie night, where we rent old movies from the 80s and early 90s, all snuggle on the couch and eat popcorn. One of her favorite activities is playing board games with us. It doesn't really matter all that much to her what we play, as long as we're playing together. Some of her favorites are Clue, Disney Trivia, Parents vs. the Kids Trivia, Roller Coaster Tycoon and Life. She even loves putting puzzles together as long as we all participate. She won't admit it, but she really likes when the whole family, including all her grandparents, attend her games to cheer her on.

The Little One has an amazing sense of humor and the most wonderful, contagious laugh. The big joke in our family is that The Little One actually lacks the ability to tell a good funny joke. She always seems to mess up a punchline. Sometimes she makes them up on her own, and they are BAD, which makes it all the more funny. Her made up knock-knock jokes are infamous. And if we refuse to say "who's there," she just answers for herself and moves on to the punchline...which never makes any sense. She cracks herself, and us, up.

I love The Little One for about a googolplex reasons (inside family joke). She amazes me. Tonight I went in and watched her sleep and I had tears in my eyes. I am so amazed that this incredible person is my daughter. That part of me made her. I am truly blessed. So yes, I may sound frustrated sometimes when I write about her, but I know it's her job to make me crazy. Just so you realize that *I* KNOW she's one of my most incredible accomplishments. Her and #1 Son. I thank God everyday for them.

Happy Birthday Chooglie. Mamma loves you.


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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