Thursday, July 20, 2017

7 is Going to be Magical

My Darling Emeline,
Do you remember when I used to sing this to you? Changing Clementine to Emeline was a far easier swap than some of the darker, more tragic lines of this American classic. We'd snuggle in tight, arms and legs entwined, and I'd try desperately, to come up with clever and soothing words that would instantly lull you to sleep.
Oh my darling, 
Oh my darling, 
Oh my darlin' Emeline 
You are sleepy, and it's bedtime
Close your eyes Emeline. 

It rarely worked.
Which should come to no surprising to anyone who's ever met you. You, my dear, are hard to convince to do anything you're not already ready and willing to do. And once your mind is made up, you are hard to deter.
Although there are occasions when  you (and I) may think otherwise; I love this fierce stubborn side of you. It gives you a strength and independence that you and I have both relied on many times over the years, and will continue to drive you forward as you age.

We're so close to the age where you don't want Mom & Dad hanging around all the time. You beg to be dropped off at birthday parties and soccer practices, telling us you "need sometime with just my friends." You readily accept sleepover invitations and are diligent in your never-ending negotiation for walking to and from school alone. As you learn to be independent, your dad and I are learning to let go.  Sometimes it's quite easy and we are more than willing to do so. Birthday parties for instance provide an excellent chances for a quick date with your dad, even if it's just grabbing coffee and running a quick errand. Other things, like letting you walk to and from school (1/4 mile each way) alone, I'm just not ready for you to do solo.

Sneaking in a day date after dropping E off for a birthday party
A couple of weeks before school let out, while walking home from school, our beloved crossing-guard told you that you'd remember these small moments - walking to and from school, hand in hand with me, for the rest of your life. He still remembers walking with his mother over 60 years ago. You giggled nervously, something you've been doing more and more frequently, when a conversation gets too sincere and real. You gave an awkward smile and nodded your acknowledgement, too polite to ignore his comments, but too uncertain to respond. I verbalized what you could not, "I hope she does, I certainly will. These are my favorite times of each day."

And they are. Walking you to and from school, talking about the day, observing the sights and sounds of our neighborhood, these are the best moments of my days. It fills my heart to see you skip ahead, singing to yourself, occasionally pausing to say  good morning to a neighbor. My heart bubbles over with love hen you slide your hand into mine, the gentle reminder that while you may not need me as much these days, you still choose, at least for this moment. to be by my side.

We celebrated Summer Vacation by getting pedicures and manicures; your first time having them done in a salon. You were so excited and were dead set on us having matching colors and you picked shiny sparkly blue for our toes and bright iridescent fuchsia for our finger nails. Not necessarily my first choices of color, but I embraced the moment. After all, how much longer will you want to have matching anything with me?

Our toes didn't quite match because Emy got special flowers painted on hers.

 We had the best time that afternoon and I realized how magical of an age 7 is and what a fantastic year we are going to have.

You're so grown-up in so many ways.  You have your own thoughts, interestsm and opinions. You can carry on conversations with ease and are easily able to entertain yourself for hours. You also enjoy doing things your dad and I enjoy doing, like going to town events, or taking yoga in the park with me. It's so fun to experience these activities together.
You're generally an excellent listener. While there are occasions you still require multiple reminders about transitions, expectations, or directions, they're increasingly rare.
You carry and are responsible for your own stuff, needing very few reminders to keep track of it when we are out and about. You  have a far better memory than I do, which comes in handy daily. You are such a solid reader, which helps us navigate buses and environmental print that can be difficult for me to see. You're hilarious and relentlessly optimistic. You keep me laughing and focusing on positive outcomes throughout the day.  Basically, you rock kiddo.
Swimming is so much more enjoyable now that you can swim easily. 

Your dad and I are in awe of the fantastic and interesting human you're growing into. We love you so, so much Emeline. Try to be patient with me as I continue to learn to let you grow and I'll promise to do the same. Learning and growing is hard work my love and I am so thankful to be by your side through it all.

Love always,
Birthday Buddies
Emy & Papa May 27. 2017