Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sunrise, Sunset

Traditionally, I write Annie a letter here each year on her (our) birthday. It's fun to look back on the year that has passed, think about the ways she's grown, praise her for her persistence or her passion, wonder anew at how big she is getting. This year it doesn't seem necessary.

Annie is eight. She remembers everything that happened to her (to us) over the course of this last year. She has her own stories to tell. As of today, along with the rest of her third-grade class, she has her own (semi-private, school-sponsored, teacher-moderated) blog. So I'm not sure I need to be keeping track of the highlights of her years for her anymore. (Though I can keep doing it for me, and I will.)

Plus, I've started writing Annie real letters. She and I both communicate better, more succinctly, and more (ahem) calmly in writing than via conversation, especially when there's an ongoing challenge or a tricky subject involved. I wrote her a letter a few weeks ago after her first, disastrous soccer practice - a dashed-off-in-desperation three-pager about how hard I know it is for her to not immediately be good at something, to have to fail and make mistakes and learn in front of other people. I set out three basic expectations for the season, and she's risen to the occasion since then, adopting a new, positive attitude and even having a genuinely great time at her first game on Saturday. I wrote her a letter the night before school started. I write her notes in her lunch every day.

So I didn't write her a letter yesterday. What I did do is bake her a double-chocolate layer cake for her family party on Sunday PLUS thirty Pinkalicious cupcakes to bring to school for yesterday's treat. Jason and I got her the American Girl doll (Julie) she's been pining for since June. I took her (and Jemma) to get a birthday pedicure, then to piano lessons, then met up with Jason so all of us could go out to dinner to Rose's, where she and I took full advantage of free birthday dessert by ordering key lime pie AND creme brûlée. I tried not to think too much about how eight means halfway to sixteen which means driving; relatedly, I tried not to equate 35 to confirmed middle-aged, even though that was pretty unsuccessful.

I looked at this picture of us, taken right around her first birthday

and tried to wrap my mind around the fact that this picture of us is the reality these days:

She wrote me a letter on my (our) birthday, though - gave it to me just before she left for school in the morning. It says, "Dear Mom, Happy birthday! I love you as much as anyone can love anything! You are the best mom ever! I hope you have a great birthday! I love you sooooo much! Love, Annie"

Best birthday present ever, that one.


  1. That picture of you with one year old Annie! Her cheeks! GAH!

    I love this post SO MUCH and I totally plan on stealing your letter idea. What a beautiful thing.