My Dearest Kate,
How can it be?
We woke up this morning and all of a sudden, you were double digits. The most beautiful, generous, brilliant 10-year old in the world.
A decade ago yesterday, I quit my full-time job to stay home and be a full-time mother to you and your brother. I didn't know how to parent a newborn and a toddler, but I was hell bent to try.
From the beginning and still to this day, you make it easy.
You, the middle child, the peacemaker...the kind one. The not-so-little girl with Pippi Longstocking braids who finds the little girl that no one is playing with at the park, the roller skating rink, the book store, the pool and you say, "Hello, my name is Katherine. Everyone calls me Kate, even though I want them to call me Katherine. That's a pretty shirt. What can I call you?" And instantly, you have a new friend. Within minutes, you know how old they are, what school they go to, and what they want to be when they grow up.
Smack dab in the present, wholly available to the moment, you are alive with creativity, curiosity and full-fledged love. When someone talks to you, you listen. When someone offers you something that you're not interested in, you profusely say, "no thank you--but thank you so much for asking," give them a full-bodied smile and ask them how their day's going.
A stunning ballerina, a dedicated piano player, wrapped up in a voracious reader, carved into a re-purposer of every imaginable object...you embody the arts and imagination at its finest. Your room is teeming with sculptures, sewing projects, canvases, Lego creations, chalk renderings, and bottles of homemade lip balm and slime. And, if it were available, you would fill a studio with color, design, and love.
I've really never met anyone like you and while many say that we are quite alike, I am certain that you are the one that I seek to emulate. Always stopping to say a "Hail Mary" when an ambulance passes, filling your belly with veggies before meat, meticulously brushing your teeth and folding your jammies just so, praying for those in need and offering a compliment when no one else seems to remember...you are rare.
At the end of the summer, you will embark upon fifth grade. Soon, you will have a lot more homework, ballet will fill up several hours a week, time with friends will take priority and my teaching load will get heavier. Inevitably, we will spend less time together. But as I watch you flourish from afar, know that I am your fiercest advocate. I want the world for you.
But, when I stop to think about it, I'm mindful that really and truly, the world is in love with you.
Here's to a new decade, a new year, new memories and new adventures.
I love you to the moon and back, always,