(This Post Created for Dear Kid Saturday, a lovely idea.)
You are my sunshine.
When you were born, daddy handed a slippery you to me and said "you got your girl!" I had always imagined a house of boys - and I felt like I had won something miraculous.
As a smaller child than now, you were all sunshine and gentle happiness. You would toddle through my adult at home day, shadowing me, asking questions. Speaking in outrageously articulate sentences at a very early age.
We would walk to the coffee shop, where we would visit, and drink coffee, you and I. Yours a drop of coffee in a tiny espresso cup filled to the brim with milk and sugar.
At two, at three, both of your brothers had tempers in need of taming. The older with a frigtening intensity, an instinct to talk back seemingly from birth (no, really, he talked back preverbally - crawling away when told "no," and looking back over his shoulder to say "uunh!" - a baby obscenity if ever there was one.) Your younger brother's temper flashes quick and loud, sometimes leaving things broken in its wake.
But you? You would put yourself in time out if you thought you might be out of line. And, as crazy as it sounds... you almost never were. You always seemed to be measuring, weighing, doing what you thought I needed you to do. Being who I needed you to be at the time.
This year, though, your moods are out front. You get angry, you pout, you've even had some temper tantrums. You're sometimes even difficult - which means, really, that you are fine and finding your way.
The school you go to, Daddy's school, is a little intense. Your brother thrives in that environment, he needs the challenges and high expectations (otherwise, I fear he would embrace the lowest common denominator) but for you - it seemed too much.
You are bright, you were always precocious and socially advanced. But reading was SO frustrating for you, initially, in "pre-first" (a moniker so precious it makes me uncomfortable.) So you repeated the grade. I questioned everything last year when that came up.
One thing they do there "Love your body week" - seemed especially forced to me. Something else a little too... precious. Mirrors are covered with craft paper, speakers address different topics by age level, a yoga instructor visited, you hear about food choices and exercise choices. I wondered if it was too contrived to work.
You never let me say the slightest bad thing about myself. You tell me, every day, that I am beautiful. On the rare occasions I wear makeup, you chide me a little. Apparently, my beauty is masked by all those paints and powders...
Then, last week? When I heard you describing "Hairspray" to your brother? And you talked through the whole plot without mentioning race or weight?? I was blown away. Absolutely blown away.
At six (almost 7!), you are full of wisdom and emotion. You are sensitive to those around you - the first to comfort pPod when he is in trouble (even if its for attacks on you...not uncommon.)
You are artistic and deliberate and aware. You are curious. You are often more controlled than me, taking over as grown up when I need to be brought back to reality. You balance the house, and with you in it, I still feel like I am getting away with something.
I thank God every day for you - but you are bigger now. You have a hand in this, too - so thank YOU for you.