To my Little Bird,
I like butterflies. I respect and appreciate the transformation that occurs for a butterfly to emerge from its cocoon. There must be growth, and the passing of time, or a caterpillar can’t change into that butterfly.
I have realized that the caterpillar is you. And on the eve of you’re 10th birthday, as you are starting to emerge from your cocoon and spread your wings into tweendom, I have learned that I’m not ready for the metamorphosis that is upon us.
You are. I know you are so ready. But I’m not.
Not by a long shot.
You, my big girl, make me so proud and yet leave me speechless every single day. You are daring and bold, and love to try new foods, yet quickly resort to a shy and quiet girl in the company of strangers and new people. You are not the type to trust first until being burned. No, you need people to prove they are worthy of your trust. And then when you do deem them trustworthy, you will love them with your whole heart.
As a lot of people point out, you are definitely my ‘mini-me’, but it’s not just in looks alone. While you are definitely more like your dad, you do possess a lot of traits and interests that I had when I was a kid.
Things like accessorizing, and make-up and hair, reading and telling a story, although your sister can out-tell any of us now. As a toddler, you always wanted us to do your hair in braids or ‘ponys’ (ponytails), add clips and headbands and whatever else we could add. You always had your own sense of style and self-expression and are never afraid to show it.
That love of hairstyles has…dare I say, matured. You prefer to wear it down now, with the odd hairband, or up in a ponytail, while making sure to pull out a few wisps that hang in front of your face and drive me crazy. Or you love it in braids, which unfortunately you have to ask one of your friends or after-school teachers to do, because that’s one skill mommy never mastered.
You also have quite the collection of make-up and love to experiment with eye shadow and lip gloss. I preferred lipstick at your age, as eye shadow was harder to come by back then. However thanks to Nonna (aka my mom), the rules change when dealing with grandchildren and you have found yourself with a lot more make-up than I owned at 20, let alone 10 years old.
Aside from make-up, you’ve found new ways to express yourself, and recently taken up crocheting and jewellery making. I can see the spark in your eye when you make things, and you are very creative. Never lose that. It is so important to have an outlet in life, something that brings you peace and happiness.
I think you would be a bigger sleeper, if it wasn’t for the early riser of a sister you have. As a baby, you loved to sleep and enjoyed your naps and early bed times. Because you had so much hair as a baby, you often woke up with the best ‘bed head’.
You are maturing and I can see those changes. I notice in the way you think through a situation, and your ability to navigate the rough waters of the playground. You are learned to think before you speak, and use logic and common sense to stay out of trouble, and away from the drama. I could not be more proud of you for that. You have had a fantastic year!
You have a wicked sense of humour, and for that I credit your father. While I think I can be funny, you find the oddest things funny, and can make everyone crack up with your continuous laughter.
You have a scary good memory, love anything vanilla and like the strangest flavours of chips.
You love to read, break out into dance in the strangest of places, and when you do sing, it fills my eyes with tears. You faced a big fear and sang in front of an auditorium of people – alone this past Winter, and I was so very proud of you. And while you are tough nut to crack sometimes, I think you were proud of yourself too.
You are shy, and while you like to tell us everything, are private in a way I never was. You are curious about social media, but haven’t pushed too many boundaries yet.
You overcame your fear of dogs when Toby came into the picture. And now that fear is a distant memory. While daddy and I tell you to try things (besides food), sometimes it takes a bit more coaching to get you to move. But you are getting better and I know as soon as you realize your potential, you’re going to move mountains!
You are caring and love your friends. You are sensitive and genuine and would give anyone the shirt off your back. You are so helpful and love to lend a hand to clean up and organize, both at school and home.
You love your sister and my heart bursts when I hear you two making up games and songs and playing all day together. I know you have a slight hesitation to let her play with your things, as she has a tendency not to remember where she puts stuff, but I see that you still have a patience with her that is beyond sweet.
I know if she’s gone for too long, you miss her. Always be there for her. Love and support each other. Don’t be jealous of each other and don’t compare your selves to each other. You are two different people, but you compliment each other perfectly. Be her best friend and she’ll be yours.
You have done so many things this past year. You have improved your swimming skills, your writing and your math. You are braver, calmer and more mature.
I see the wings starting to grow and my tween starting to emerge.
Remember that mommy and daddy love you very much! Find the good in a situation, over the bad. Continue to express yourself, avoid the drama and choose the good. Dance where you want and laugh out loud! Never be afraid to stand up for what’s right and have fun every day. And while you may be turning 10, remember that you’ll always be my baby. Remember that you made me a mommy and we will love you no matter what! Dream big, because I know you will conquer whatever you put your mind to.
Happiest 10th birthday, my girl. Wishing you a day full of fun, love, happiness and laughs and may all your wishes come true.