Tuesday, March 26, 2013

seven years

Dear Julianna,

Yesterday you turned seven years old.  That’s like a whole year in dog years.  You’re practically ancient!
We celebrated your birthday by going to Fire and Sticks, which is your favorite restaurant since they cook the food right in front of you and since you get to order shrimp which you love.  You sat there completely self-sufficient, eating your salad with chopsticks like it was no big deal and I marveled at the fact that I used to spoon feed you and now you can do everything all by yourself.  When the cook threw the shrimp on the grill you were so excited you turned to me and said, “I just want to reach out there and grab one. They look so good!”

Over the last several days your dad has been reminiscing about how difficult it was to get you out of my belly and into the world, but when I remember your birth I remember it differently.  Mostly I just remember the first few months at home alone with you feeling tortured because I didn’t know how to calm you down or how to get you to sleep or eat enough to get rid of the jaundice and I felt like a prisoner in my new life as a mother of a newborn.  We both felt truly honored to be given the gift of being your parents and we immediately loved you beyond compare, but it was rough for me to adjust to being a mom.

The difference in life with you now is amazing.  For the most part you make your own decisions.  You get ready by yourself, you take care of your body by yourself, you entertain yourself, you take care of your own things, and we mostly just remind you of responsibilities.  It makes me sad in one respect because you don’t need me like you used to, but it’s such a breath of fresh air to be able to focus on me a lot of the time.  Thank you for letting me do that.
You eat almost anything and even if it’s not your favorite thing in the world, it pleases me so much that you’ll try a few bites without complaint.  You proudly tell people that you’re the second tallest girl in your class and the tallest girl is only about a centimeter taller.  You read on a 3rd grade level and consistently get perfect report cards.  You also told the dentist the other day that you’re the second smartest in your class.  I guess you have your mother’s tact.  We’ll work on that.  Until then you just keep doing your multiplication facts, girl.

Jules, you get more aggravated with your brother than I do (which is certainly saying a lot).  You are meaner to him than you are to anyone else (at least that I know of) and sometimes it breaks my heart.  Other times I just think about how much he deserves it.  Kidding.  Sort of.

You desperately want to be able to invent a real joke and make Daddy and I laugh.  Surprisingly sometimes you really can.  Other times instinct tells you that we’ve just laughed to be polite and you run off only to try again ten minutes later.  I admire your resilience and I truly dread the day one of your classmates is cruel enough to really hurt your feelings badly.

When you got your ears pierced earlier this year it didn’t surprise me one bit how brave you were.  You’ve always been a tough girl and only barely flinched when you’ve gotten shots or taken a bad fall.  That experience was no different and I was beaming with pride.  Plus, you just look so beautiful with those aquamarine birthstones shining in your ears.

You’re learning about girly things which both terrifies me because I know I’ll have to guide you and also tickles me to death because I can relate.  You’ve asked us about girls having babies, you’ve told us about boys that “like” you, you just had a “spa” birthday party, and you’ve asked for your first friend sleepover.

It’s exciting to witness your growth, Julianna.  It’s exciting because it’s different experiences than my own so I get to do it all over again through you.  And it’s a lot more fun this time around.  Thank you for letting me share all of this with you.  Thank you for being a great kid.

I love you to pieces.


1 comment:

Courtney said...

I can't believe that I forgot to mention that it snowed on your birthday! That is unheard of here and I can't remember a time when it ever snowed at the end of March in the middle of NC, but it did. Several different times throughout the day we saw lots of flakes coming down. I hope you'll remember it because you're not likely to see it again and I think it helped make the day a little more special.

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