Last night, before we put JBelle to bed, DB was asking her what she’ll remember about being eight. She was tired and little punchy so she kept rattling off holidays and such but as I laid there listening to her, I knew exactly what I would remember about her being eight years old:
- her first week at a sleep away camp
- shopping with her for her first articles of a significant piece of underclothing & the physical changes in her that I’ve witnessed all year long
- she still believed in Santa Claus
- her first choral concerts
- the way her passion for books & reading really took off
- her love for her school teacher & how much she missed the teacher when she had to go on maternity leave
- the year she became a vegetarian & how she’s remained committed to that choice
- she still played with dolls (absolutely adores her American Girl Doll, Kit)
- how her independence & responsibilities grew but she still needed hugs and reassurance and “the soft place to land” of her home environment to steady her
I don’t know what nine will bring. I know she’ll continue to grow and change and it will be just as exciting and fun to witness and participate in as eight was. Each year is a big year in it’s own way and nine will be no different. It’s her last year of elementary school. Last of year in the single digit age numbers. But there will be many first as well like her first time she’ll get to go to church camp.
So, my dearest JBelle, while I’ll miss many of the aspects of eight, I look forward to seeing what nine will bring. I look forward to seeing you grow and mature and learn many exciting new things. May your wonder and curiosity never be satisfied. I’ve watched as you’ve learned to keep those friends who treat you well closest to you and I hope you always show such discernment for the company you keep. I know many of the things about this world don’t make a whole lot of sense. Why people say the things they say and act the way they do. Your innocence is so precious right now and while I’d like to shield you from much of the ugliness, I know you’ll encounter it eventually. So when you do, I hope you always remember that I’m here to answer your questions and hold you whenever you need it.
And finally, I hope you’ll remember that if I’m not here to listen to you, answer your questions and hold you, God will be.