Every year on their birthdays, Jeff and I write each child a letter in their scrapbooks. This is Jack's. To learn more about why we do this, click here.
This is the day you have been waiting all year for. Double digits. The big "1-0". Your 10th birthday and the ninth birthday letter from me to you.
A decade. I have been a mother for a decade now. As is tradition, this letter will focus on you, all that you are and all that you and we hope you will be.
In the past year, as in the past several, you have matured. Grade 4 at school was a good year for you. You really enjoyed being a part of the SOAR program at Seaforth Public School and through that experience developed an interest in writing that your teacher really encouraged. While you were exploring different types and styles of writing, your research led you to this blog. Your nine year old self read many of my tornado entries and that led us to have many conversations about the tornado itself but also about writing. When I was blogging the tornado I knew in the back of mind you would eventually read it, but I didn't consider that you would read it when you were 9 or while you were at school. I guess that was naive of me. But that's me - learning as I go. Over the past 10 years there has been a lot of that.
You continued swimming with the Hurricanes and earned a few more ribbons, most often in your favourite stroke, the butterfly. You also continued with piano lessons. At your recital in June your teacher told me she thinks you are ready for t a challenge and to start the conservatory program. We will see how you like that this year.
While you made some new friends last year thanks in large part to SOAR, Alexis continues to be your BFF. The two of you spend many hours together. In August Jen and I took you both to your first concert in Toronto. It was the "Big Ticket Summer Concert" at Molson Ampitheatre with Megan Nicole, Sabrina Carpenter and Cody Simpson. You were in awe of the sheer size of the place but you felt pretty special being there.
You have always wanted to be a teacher, and your ability to teach is becoming more and more apparent. You are fantastic with Jack and this summer taught him, age 6, basic multiplication and division. You try every now and then to teach him piano, but that's a tough sell. In exchange you are very good to let him "teach" you about baseball and hockey.
This past winter we vacationed in Cuba as a family with Grandma Tam and Gran and were lucky enough to be joined by Hunter and Halle Chisholm and family. Swimming with the dolphins was definitely a highlight of that trip for you and you also enjoyed learning about the culture.
Being 10 now, you are wanting more independence. You walk Maggie or with Jack around the neighbourhood on your own, you sometimes walk to Cravings on the Square for Ice Cream and you are ready to stay home for short periods on your own. While I admit I enjoy this little bit of freedom, I do wonder how we got here...it doesn't seem possible sometimes.
You continue to hate to wear jeans, love dresses and skirts, but hate brushing your hair, which you are refusing to cut short this year. Getting your ears pierced this summer was a big milestone moment, although putting earrings in and taking them out proves to be quite the dramatic experience for you thus far. The thing you love the most about your pierced ears is the bond it gives you with your cherished Aunt Nicole. Her reaction to it was what you were most excited about the day you got them pierced and she didn't disappoint.
This summer we also had a discussion about Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
At the moment you are loving clothes that are black and white and those are the only colours you have worn for the first week of school. You are also loving Monster High dolls. As long as these two things are not a preview to a "goth" phase, I will be happy.
You are on a smoothie kick right now and to my delight are happy eating things like cauliflower crust pizza, spaghetti squash and stuffed zucchini boats. But, truth be told your favourite foods are still cookies and ice cream, hands down. You are a true Wormington country girl too, given the choice you will have full roast beef or turkey dinner every time over any fast food, ensuring Dad makes the gravy. You also love potatoes too, doesn't matter what kind, but whipped are your favourite.
You still refuse to learn to ride a bike. For the past few years I refused to get you a scooter until you learned to ride a bike. That changes today though. Today you will get your scooter, because really, if you aren't going to ride a bike, I'm not going to force it. You are fierce and determined and persistent and you are a good kid. So you get your scooter.
You told me a few weeks ago that this birthday is a big deal. That you will now be "double digits" until you are 99. I remember feeling that way. And you're right. This birthday IS a big deal. For me too.
I have been blessed with a really good daughter. You are kind, caring and compassionate. You are a good friend and are great with little ones. You are empathetic and intuitive. As you learn along the way so do I, but I am pretty lucky that you are my teacher along this parenthood journey. I am grateful that you are comfortable and willing to talk to me about the "big things" in your life and really really hope that will continue over the next 10 years as well. As you gain independence and begin to spread your wings, I am proud of you and will not hold you back. For the most part I very much enjoy this age, a bit of a reprieve from where we've been and where we're headed. No matter what happens in the years to come, my hope is that what makes you YOU, your core personality, values and strengths always remain.
As long as the girl you have grown into so far is always in there somewhere, I will be a lucky mom.
Thank you for the past 10 years. You are amazing and I am lucky. I love you and I love being your mom.
4 hours ago