Dear Big Sis,
You're a decade old today. I've spent a quarter of my life with you center stage, though it feels like a greater proportion and your influence on me is immeasurable.
Today is your birthday, and we all woke up weary from your baby sister's and my late arrival last night and all the reacquainting and excited sharing we did. Earlier in the week when I called and asked how you wanted to spend your birthday you magnanimously deferred to Tootsie. Whatever works for us to do with her, Mom, you said, and my heart swelled.
And so today has been mellow, with each of us taking turns expelling some emotions and feeling a little overwhelmed.
We ate breakfast at one of your favorite spots; you fed your baby sister; we talked with some old friends/visitors; you wrote in your new diary.
I'm respecting your privacy--your need to be you and keep parts of your self sacred. But I love that you are so open and honest and expressive with us.
You are an avid reader, and are so excited about what you read, you want us to plunge into your favorites too. Most recently it was Dahl's Mathilda and Palacios' Wonder. I was hesitant to let you delve into The Hunger Games series, but as you explained yesterday, "I'm not worried about a reaping, Mom; I'm more worried about Syria."
Like many tweens, you're negotiating friendships and who you are and want to be. Some of your closest confidantes are moving on to middle school, so 5th grade will mean nurturing new friends and evolving old friendships.
We love your creative spirit: in your bedroom is a drawer you've fashioned into a miniature house with rooms and furniture; you draw fairies and mermaids; you love to cook and try new foods (including frog's legs on Bastille Day this year!).
We adore you, our bird-boned, thoughtful, analytical, sporty, artistic, kind, and careful first-born daughter. You've been trying especially hard to be an understanding and patient Big Sis. There's not much you don't put effort into.
Mom and Dad and your adoring fans.