Today you turned six years old, and as I say every single birthday, I just can’t fathom it. You’re six! SIX! At your dance recital on Friday my mom brought you my school picture from when I was six, and I almost started bawling. I remember so much about being six. For me, the picture brought back some not so nice memories of mean girls and bullying, but you thought it was amazing. Your mom was six once! I know, I don’t believe it either.
This year you’ve already dealt with some of the drama of life, learning about and having to navigate the issue of bullying yourself. At first I was shocked we had to talk about this at such a young age, but on the other hand, I’m honestly glad it happened how it did. You are still innocent and forgiving, and the girl who bullied you became a friend by the end of the year, mostly due to your open-hearted nature. You understand there are bad people in the world, but you want to help them. Your first reaction is never anger or hate, you always want to understand why and find a way to assist others. It’s really incredible. And it has been such a joy to watch.
You began and finished your first year of elementary school and, as expected, you were a star. You made wonderful friends and learned so very much. Tonight, before bed, you read me two books and yesterday you were doing math quizzes in the car. You spent most of your school year in an advanced math group, which is totally frightening since my math expertise lasts through about 8th grade level. By the time you’re in second grade I probably won’t even be able to help with your homework! Academically, you seem to be the perfect blend of your dad and I. You are creative and thoughtful, but also rational and methodical. I feel sorry for anyone who tries to get in your way.
This year we also explored the world of extracurricular activities, and, Lu, it has left your mama permanently scarred. I am not sure how I’m going to do this…to be a mom of someone so talented and lovely that she wants to be a part of everything out there. You did dance and soccer and swimming and rock climbing and you wanted to do so much more! I had to put my foot down when things were obviously too much, but you weren’t happy about it. You’ve informed me that next year you want to do dance, soccer, t-ball, singing lessons, piano lessons, art classes, rock climbing and Girl Scouts. I am exhausted just typing that sentence!
Lulu, this is all going too fast. Just yesterday your dad and I took you and your brother to a Royals game, and I took a photo of you sitting your dad’s shoulders. I immediately thought of a similar photo I’d taken a few years before and I couldn’t believe it. Now your legs are so long, they hardly fit into the frame! Your face is different and you have two loose teeth. You don’t want my help and you have chores and you don’t like me listening when you’re talking to your friends. You have a boom box and a favorite boy band and did I mention those loose teeth? You are a person now, a kid, with ideas and thoughts of your own. You have a life outside of your life with me, and that is terrifying.
But, luckily, I know you. You with the huge smile and the dimples by your eyes. You who almost always does the right thing. So I have to trust you. It’s hard, but I have to let you go just a little bit, so you can learn who you are. You are an incredible daughter, sister and friend. Just remember, I’m always up for a bedtime cuddle. I’m always here, Lulubelle. I love you.