Double Digits - Aka Dear Gwenivere, for the 10th Time

"Hey Gwen!",
Yesterday you turned 10! Double digits! A decade of reminding your Dad and I that we had literally zero idea of what to really expect when we had a child. You've blown absolutely every expectation out of the water. Both in being more strong-willed, trying, and exasperating then we ever could have guessed, but also more amazingly empathetic, kind, and loving. Thank you for being you. Funny, silly, amazing you.

You are so not a little kid any more, Gwenie. You are shedding things you've had since you were a baby. You are gaining more responsibilities, and rising to meet each one. This school year, you starting walking from school to our apartment office at the end of the day, and you've been so very conscientious about it. Its brought you joy, and me a lot more ease at the end of my days. You've helped when we've been sick, or when Daisy had her surgery, and you're getting better at remembering the little day-to-day chores that are yours.

You still love all things Legos, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings/Hobbit. You love when we read together before bed, and we're working our way through the Harry Potter series again. You are very into graphic novels, reading them at amazing speed, and writing your own. Your favorite foods remain the same, but you're branching out more and are willing to try new things regularly now.

You are so inquisitive, figuring out how the world really works... and how you can make it work in a better way. You have a million questions about everything we read, watch, talk about. Its fun to see what your mind makes of things, though sometimes I'm ready for a break from the "Hey Mom..."'s that I get a dozen times in a row.

You are still skiing, and are dang good at it. Its a great way for you and your dad to spend special time together; the way you and I have travel. You're doing so well in school, enjoying your teachers, and (maybe less excitedly) learning new friend dynamics. Its hard sometimes to grow up and apart, and know that not everyone acts with as much kindness.

Gwenie, I read you a book the other night, just a random pick because we only had a few minutes, "The Wonderful Things You Will Be." It's a few years old, much younger then the books we read now, but it was sweet and we both enjoyed the rhythm of it. It talks of when the babe was young, but even for their tininess the parent could see how wild and wise they already were. And it ends with the parent telling the child that one day when they are grown, they will love them no matter what they've grown to be. I blinked back tears at the end. Baby, I simply adore everything you have grown to be already. You might drive me crazy at times, and know just how to push my buttons, but I am so proud of who you are, and I cannot wait to see who you will grow to be. I've done things in this life that I am proud of, but none more then you; you are all that I am proudest of.

I love you, forever and ever; you're the best Gwenie I ever had,


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