Hello solstice child,
The pagan doula who attended your birth held you for a while waiting for a gift from you, born in the dead of the longest winter's night. That was sort of odd of her, but I didn't mind. I think the gift was simply you.
Every parent has that child who is just a constant puzzle to them. That is what you are for me. I can understand pretty easily what goes in the hearts and heads of your other siblings, for various reasons. But I never know what it is that will matter to you, and what will just slide off.
You have strong ideas of what is fair and what isn't, and you are most easily upset when your sense of justice is offended, even if your ideas of what is just are very different from that of those around you.
You are clever. You see through people. You love to have fun. You love to be silly.
You look too old. You are too old.
Your bones are solid now, big kid bones. I can no longer wrap my hand all the way around your ankle. There is weight to you now. Not visible, for you still look super skinny, but it's work to carry you to bed.
You got a cool hat and new boots for your birthday last Saturday and Sunday when we went to the nutcracker you wore them along with your frilly girly sparkly dress that we had planned weeks ago. And you looked awesome.
At 8 years old you are officially more stylish than me. Just FYI, I never really have been stylish. You can dress me in a decade or so. Kay? Actually, you already do on occasion.
You have the greatest attitude about things, most of the time. When we all play a game together it's obvious who cares about winning and who is there just to have fun, win or lose. You are that child. You don't care about winning. You care about being able to play.
You're also my most flighty child. You leave laundry sitting on the kitchen floor and dishes in your bedroom and any thing you were told to put away simply relocated to another room. You were going to put it where it belongs, but you thought of something else to do before you got there and completely forgot you were even holding something. This is how I find all of your things in random places.
I wonder what you will be like when you grow up and have a place of your own?
A friend took this photo of you a month or 2 ago and I almost had a heart attack when I saw it. It's you, just totally innocent in an unguarded, unscripted moment. But it shows so clearly how quickly your girlhood is fading away and womanhood is rushing at you.
I know we have a few more years, for which I'm thankful, but it was shocking to me, nonetheless to see just how old you are.
I always feel panicky when I realize that, like I'm running out of time to get it right. I haven't yet perfected my parenting skills you see, and I'm running out of time to make sure you have a perfect mother before it's too late.
Of all my kids though, you care the least about perfection. You only want to have time, and attention, and a place on my lap still. Which, I confess, kind of hurts now, but I try to let you stay there anyway because soon... Oh too soon you are not going to be a girl anymore.
My heart squeezes a little too tight when I think about that.
I love you. I love you with all my heart. I hope I learn to speak your language well enough to make sure that you at least know that, always.