And another year has passed; more growing, learning, experimenting, changing. Every year I think of how it seems only yesterday I held you in the NICU, only yesterday I watched you learn to walk, only yesterday I saw you climb on the school bus and head away from me to kindergarten.
But this birthday, I am also thinking of how I more often see flashes of the beautiful, amazing, thoughtful, brilliant young woman you are becoming. No doubt, you still have childhood plenty left to enjoy and truly, there is no rush. But she is there, silently waiting for you to grow in to her.
I have noted and admired, this year, your unflappable self-confidence. Your know you are a "different" kid. Your family is different, your interests are different, your outlook on life and way of thinking are different. And rather than succumb to the pressure to be the same (or at least be highly negative about being different), you have ignored the negative words and held your head high, while enjoying your "different" life. Your confidence is unassuming and the other kids are attracted by it and your differences. It isn't easy sometimes, but your positive attitude and choosing to ignore what other people share that isn't positive, is amazing.
You are striving and excelling in school. I am so proud of the hard work you are doing in maths. You have made huge advances. And I know you are still working hard and still moving forward. You are gaining knowledge at an amazing pace. Just the other day, I was amazed to see that you can use several computer programs nearly better than me! I always beam with pride at the rave reviews I get from your teachers.
I know you have had a hard time choosing your one outside activity. I can see how much you enjoy a physical challenge and I know you are tempted to quit Girl Guides and choose something else. I hope, though, that the swim lessons and in-school cross country is meeting that need because I can also see how you come home from Girl Guides glowing with excitement at what you've gotten to experience. But, like all things in life, you will choose what you will choose. And that's a good thing.
We have seen an uptick in experiments with autonomy. You were never a "dependent" child, as it were. We have phone calls with friends and sleepovers and hugs in the school yard (or not, as the case may be) to help you experiment further with where Dadam and I end and you begin. I have to admit, I am privately struggling. All these things seem grownup, teenagerish and I am not fully prepared. Thankfully, as scary as it all is, the changes are slow and I am reminded to enjoy you now and remember that this is the way of life.
Another year begins, where will it take us? I don't know, but the grand experiment continues. I am sure you will take it all in with your large, beautiful brown eyes and gleefully, full of laughter and smiles, grow and amaze us all further.
I love being your Mommy and watching you grow and growing and learning with you. I love you so much, PrincessE. Happy Birthday.