Monday, August 29, 2011

Eight is Great

Dear Muggy Moo,

Yesterday you marveled, "sometimes I think that I am only dreaming myself and this life.  But then I remember you have to be real to dream, so I think I really am alive." 

You are eight today, and about to enter third grade, the grade they tell me marks the loss of innocence.  The grade they tell me when "kids change."  I squint my eyes and hunch my shoulders and flinch at the possibility that fairies and magic and wonder and pigtails will be abandoned at the side of the road of your growth and evolution.  Yet, because you're you, and always will be (part of being you is your trueness to yourself), I believe in your enduring sense of enchantment with the world. 

You're our "game" girl, up for almost anything:  hiking, bike rides, sailing your own sabot, cooking, gardening, researching, exploring.  You'll balk at the beach with its pesky sand, but at the end of the day you beg to go back.  Your curiosity is among your most gratifying qualities.  We had to pull you away from exhibits at the science museum yesterday; you introduced us to plant species you recognized during a hike in the desert last month.  This summer you learned to dive, weave a lanyard, swim backstroke, play piano, Google, hold your breath (sometimes) before barking at your sister, scramble eggs, and catch and throw a ball with a lacrosse stick. 

We love you for your loyalty to friends and family--you seem to enjoy nothing more than being with your grandparents, cousins, aunties and uncles.  You show them how important they are to you.  You are forgiving and generous with the benefit of the doubt; we hope you sustain your reluctance to disparage people (besides, ahem, your little sister).  No one can make you laugh (or fume) like your Little Sis.  But lately you've been reading books with her aloud at night, snuggling and giggling and sleeping under the star lights together. 

For everything you share out loud, you keep a lot inside, craving time to yourself to read, draw, and play with your dolls and animals.  You enjoy making tea in the morning.  You won't wear a skirt or dress without leggings.  You love soup, mangoes, soft bread, pickles, and tomatoes from the garden. 

If someone asks, you say you want to be an artist someday.  You already are, our little birthday girl.   Dance on, sweet dreamer.

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