Girlfriend is turning nine! Today we celebrated by swimming with friends and then taking our family out to a restaurant of her choosing She may have mixed up nine and ninety because of all the restaurants in the world she chose….Golden Corral.
This has definitely been a transitional year. Without going into too much detail, we found out soon after she turned eight that she was dealing with anxiety. That was something completely new to us, but we started seeing a therapist and that has helped a lot. As we got closer to her ninth birthday, my sugary sweet little girl morphed into someone angered by a mere look in her direction. As this continued to happen I grew legitimately worried. I began to believe she hated everyone in the family. I relate everything back to adoption and was convinced something had happened attachment wise. Then, a week or two ago I found a silly article about nine-year-old girls online (language warning). I couldn’t believe what I was reading- every word resonated. I realized that all these behaviors- yelling at her younger brother every time he talks, rolling the eyes when asked to complete simple tasks, acting aloof and uncaring- weren’t adoption issues or personality issues- they are just another developmental stage. It both relieved me and worried me for the next few years! So, we’re dealing with that…but here are some happier things I want to remember about right now.
Diva, your teacher said on one of your report cards that you have a ‘strong sense of justice’ and we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. You’re very comfortable vocalizing any wrongs you witness. Seeing people mistreated really bothers you. There is a boy in your class who is picked on a lot. You try to be friendly to him, and you recently wrote him a note apologizing for the way he is treated and letting him know that you think he’s the coolest kid in class. You meticulously decorated it, but have yet to work up the courage to deliver it.
You’ve formed a lot of new friendships this year and boy are they hard to keep up with! Every day as soon as I pick you up you launch into a story about that day’s drama. I never know who you like and who you’re upset with. Sometimes you play with your friends, but lately when you have a friend or two over you just sit on your bed and talk for hours.
You have your first crush. You’re mildly obsessed. You doodle his name and fantasize about marrying him.
You’re a really deep thinker. You constantly wonder “Who am I?”. It frustrates you that you don’t know. You’re still searching to find your “thing” and that is hard for you.
You’re easily persuaded. One of your friends is a vegetarian, so you decided that you wanted to be a vegetarian too…but that only lasted until you had an opportunity to have a big juicy hamburger. More recently, you have been questioning your faith because one of your friends is an unbeliever. (For the record…we encourage the questions. We want you thinking about these things for yourself. But we also want you to come to your own conclusions).
Speaking of being easily persuaded, I’ve recently learned that the store Justice has the tween girl segment completely cornered. For two months you wanted a miniature backpack from Justice because that’s what your friends had. Nearly every gift you received from your friends was from this store. You’ve never cared about this stuff until very recently.
You LOVE little kids as long as they’re not Wiggles. You really, really don’t like Wiggles anymore. But you play pretty well with Sassypants, and you love kids that aren’t in your family. You baby-sat for our small group and looked forward to following your small charge around. Your 2 and 4-year-old cousins just moved back and you’ve never been so excited.
You express yourself through writing and it’s really beautiful. You’re still working on spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but you can fill pages with your thoughts. You had a diary, but you took it to school and some kids read it, so now you just write on loose-leaf paper all over the house.
You’re an amazing eater. It’s one of my favorite things about you. When we went to the beach this summer you tried oysters and mussels . You’ll try anything and like most everything. It’s seriously impressive, at least to a partially-reformed picky eater like me. You can also eat impressive amounts of food, and you better start praying now that your metabolism stays strong.
You know the fairy tale Hansel and Gretel when they leave a little trail of crumbs? That’s kind of like you. You’re incredibly messy and leave a trail wherever you go. Trash, crumbs, a shoe, a hair tie, a toy, a pencil, more trash, your coat. Your stuff is everywhere and you get majorly annoyed when asked to pick it up.
You’ve got mad hula hopping skills. You won a contest this fall when you hula hooped for 37 minutes. You could have kept going but they ended the contest.
When you get mad at us sometimes you pack a backpack and threaten to run away. But you never actually do.
You like to help me cook. You’re my regular sidekick at my monthly freezer meal nights. You can pretty much make pancakes by yourself, and my gravy would never turn out right if I didn’t have you to be my constant stir-er. Unlike your siblings you’re actually helpful.
You’re starting to do your own hair. Although you’ve able to braid my hair since you were at least 4.5 years old, up until recently you couldn’t do a ponytail on yourself to your satisfaction. You just started doing puffy pigtails on yourself. Your part isn’t straight at all but that is not a battle I’m going to choose.
We had a girls day at the ballet. Gammie and I were bored to tears but you loved it.
Diva, you’re one step closer to being a young woman but I still see the little girl in you and I pray that you cling to that as long as you can. The way your eyes light up when you’re excited about something makes my day. Happy birthday lady!