Happy 11th Birthday, my dear. This here is a post just for you. I know that you were kind of disappointed last year when I wrote you a short post, because the year before, I’d written you a long one and you quite liked reading it.
You see, though, I am a procrastinator. I do everything at the last minute and I am doing my best to teach you to not follow in my footsteps. Unfortunately, the only thing that you didn’t ace on your report card was Handing Assignments In On Time. It looks like genetics trump parenting. Now, since you’re expecting the house to be decorated when you wake up, and it’s already 45 minutes into your birthday, I’m going to have to make this brief, lest you wake up and think that I do not love you because there are no balloons or decorations around the house to say good morning to you when you wake, which will be in about six hours and fifteen minutes. And counting.
You are growing up fast, you goober. It seems like yesterday that you were heading to Kindergarten like Liliana is in the fall, but you are now heading into Grade Six and it’s kind of freaking me out. I’m not ready for you to go into Grade Six, because I remember being in Grade Six and it wasn’t that long ago.
You are an excellent student, Kaylie. Your teachers have nothing but good things to say about you, and besides the aforementioned note, your report cards are perfect. Literally. You work hard and you love to learn. You want to be involved in absolutely everything, and you are very excited to start band in the fall. You want to play the flute, just like Auntie Erica. (ps. Auntie Erica, if you’re reading this, don’t forget to bring your flute to Summerland!)
You are very brave. You’ve participated in your school talent show two years in a row and you completely impressed me with your performances. Last year you did a dance routine with a friend, and this past spring you sang a song all by yourself. That is something I could never do, and I’m very proud of you for getting up there and doing what you love, without being afraid. (Well, you were a little afraid, but it sure didn’t look like it from the audience.)
You love being outside. Well, you do sometimes. You love to ride your bike, rollerblade, jump on the trampoline, and help me in the garden. You love to be at the lake, and all that being there entails. I know you wish we lived closer to Grannie so that you could go camping with her, but maybe one day I’ll get it together and take you kids camping. You might have to convince Dad to come, too, though. (Good luck with that.)
You love your siblings (most of the time). You love to help take care of Preston, changing his diapers and dressing him, and as much as you and Liliana fight sometimes (often)(a lot), you take good care of her when you want to. I love it when you make lunch or a snack for her and yourself. I love it when you two invent a game, or come out of the play room all dressed up. I love it the best when all three of you kids play together without fighting.
You crave independence and I’m doing my best to give you that independence. You cook, you do chores, and you’re completely okay being away from me and dad. When you turn 12, I think it’s time for you to find your own place. You might need a job, though. You’ll have to look into that.
You are outgoing and friendly. You make friends quickly, and love nothing more than spending time with people. You get annoyed with me when I won’t let you have friends over as often as you’d like, but hopefully that will change as your brother gets a little older and outgrows his naps.
I’m sorry that I’m hard on you sometimes. I love you and I want you to grow up to be a decent human being, but you’re my guinea pig. (That means that you’re the one I’m practicing on.) I’m learning as I go. You’re a pretty terrific kid so far, so either I’m doing an okay job or you’re just quite fantastic on your own. I’m not going to take all the credit as a super-parent, because you’ve met your sister, right? Sometimes you really frustrate me, but I’m sure I frustrate you a lot, too, and hopefully we’ll figure out how to get you all grown up and still love each other at the end of it all.
I hope you have a fantastic birthday, Kaylie.