Dear Rosemary -
You are nearly 9.5 and this letter is a bit late. These past six months have been full and wonderful and difficult, and I will do my best to chronicle the months preceding your 9th birthday instead of the months following it.
Shortly after your 8th birthday, we packed up and moved once again. I worried, and you worried, that this move would be the most difficult for you. You had created quite a life for yourself in the 3 years we lived in St. Croix Falls and I was sad to make you leave it behind. The best you could, you put on a happy face and you looked for the positive ... wisely stopping now and again to lament all you were leaving behind.
Soon, the start of a new school year was upon you and the nerves began. True to your normal back-to-school ways and activities, your stomach aches and sleepless nights began in August. You spent about a month worrying about what life for you would be like at a new school. And then you went on to have what I believe has been the best school year of your life. You made instant friends, you excelled in your classes, and I proudly watched you grow in confidence. It was the least anxious school year you have ever had. You let your silly, anxious self shine and it was such a relief to watch.
As you grow older, I grow in my admiration of you. I admire your bravery - the amusement park rides you are willing to go on astound me, the way you fearlessly cannonball into the pool and swim like a fish impresses me, and the kindness that exudes from you when you're around friends and kids who are different from you humbles me. I admire your courage - while you were nervous about the move and the new school, you held yourself together in an impressive way. It never occurred to you to beg to stay in the old place; you accepted this change in your life in a more mature way than many adults (myself included) might have handled the same thing. And I continue to admire your silliness - the natural jokes you make, the way you find humor in almost every situation, the energy and fun that you bring into our lives.
It is my constant hope and prayer that I encourage and support the incredible person you are as you continue to grow. I know I have my moments of impatience and the more stressed I get, the shorter my temper tends to be. I thank you for having patience with me as I continue to learn how to be your mom. I thank you that you still hold my hand and cuddle in close.
I want to thank you for your gusto, your honesty, your love, and even your support. I am a better person because of YOU. I love you like crazy and I'm so happy you are a part of my life.
The future holds many changes and uncertainties, and I have truly come to believe that, together, we can take whatever comes our way.
“I tell you this
to break your heart,
by which I mean only
that it break open and never close again
to the rest of the world."
- Mary Oliver
I love you, kid.