Thursday, January 31, 2013

For Kate

Today she is 9. The day I found out she was a girl I cried. I cried because I thought, "Someday she'll feel like she really hates me." The future that is nearer by the second.

What time has taught me is that she is herself. She is not simply a girl, she is Kate. She is better than I imagined, less inclined toward rebellion in some ways, more in others. She's more like her dad than I realized she could be, and that comforts me. For one, she likes peace. She is argumentative, and cannot let a wrong stand. I like that more than I thought I would. She is coming to a place of carving out her own future. She stands up to her friends, something she was terrified to do last year. She tells them she doesn't want to talk about people behind their backs, and not to make fun of Charlotte. She curbs the mean girl attitudes in her group, and they curb hers too. Once she cried at school, but she didn't want to talk to me about it. That was pretty tough, but a proud moment none-the-less because it showed her willingness to grapple with problems on her own. She can't always run to me, I know that.

She's still creative, but I wonder how much of that I've kept her from exploring. Our life doesn't give her much free time to just experiment. Last night we made cupcakes from scratch for school. Our frosting didn't turn out and we ended up buying bakery cupcakes to bring. She came and wrapped her arms around me and said, "I don't mind, I just love baking with you is all." She's generous that way.

She wants to try everything once, and she's brave as can be. We went on her first roller coaster ride in November at Hollywood Studios in Disney World. I rubbed her leg the whole time to help keep her calm, only she told me that it was annoying. We went on Tower of Terror, which left her visibly shaken. Later she told me she wanted to ride it again because she didn't want to leave afraid. She's tougher than I credit her.

Nine years have gone by too quickly. In another nine she'll be 18. I'm no longer scared she'll feel like she hates me because I love her so very much.

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