Friday, July 17, 2015

Happy 8th Birthday, Ada

Dear Ada,
I haven't updated my blog in over 6 months, but I couldn't let your birthday slip by without notice. This year you started and finished 2nd grade. You got glasses and quickly needed a new, stronger prescription. You're one of the shortest kids in your grade and skinny, with increasingly long wavy brown hair and those big dark brown eyes you've always had. Both fashionable and practical, you wear Converse low tops every day and never wear a skirt or dress without shorts underneath.

You started reading chapter books for fun and most mornings I emerge from the shower to find you plowing through an American Girl book in bed. You're still an early riser for the most part, but you'll sleep in after a late night out and you no longer show up at my bedside at 6am. For that, your Dad and I thank you.

The Actor's Garden "Tut, Tut"
On stage
Your interests have become very focused. You enjoy soccer and improved a lot while playing AYSO. You love musical theater and had the time of your life at Actor's Garden summer camp. You take piano and voice lessons and listening to you sing and play is genuinely enjoyable. At home, you spend hours in your room, dressing and playing with your dolls and begging your sister to play with you. You also like LEGO and art a lot, but you've spent less time on self-directed arts and crafts projects than in previous years. Now you're more apt to try something you've learned from a friend or YouTube video.

Helping at a work event
Your infamous temper took a turn for the better about halfway through this year. I don't know if it was your maturity or my taking a different, more empathetic approach to your frequent frustrations, but you're more likely to pout or burst into sad tears than throw a door-slamming, "I hate you and I want to run away" tantrum. And good Lord, when Zoe decides to hang out with you, you're a complete angel. (But when she doesn't want your company or spends too much time doing what you deem to be "teenager-y stuff," look out!) Some evenings you'll admit that you don't know why you're feeling upset, you just are. Letting you feel your feelings with a promise that tomorrow offers a new start is usually all you need. Well, that and a cuddle. You're still a very affectionate kid.

Perhaps its because your own emotions run so hot and cold, but you're increasingly empathetic and have a good understanding of others' motivations and feelings. Maybe that's why you've taken to acting?

Moving up to a bigger, faster bike
We celebrated your birthday today with pancakes at breakfast. You got to be the star at day camp, and after camp you, Zoe and I went downtown to the American Girl Place with the new doll your Grandma bought you, "Grace." There you and your sister spend 2 hours fingering the goods and deciding how to spend your birthday money. We finished the evening at the Mity Nice Grill downstairs and you and sister both marveled at what a perfect outing it had been, thanking me profusely.

Thank you, Ada, for being you.

7th Birthday Letter
6th Birthday Letter
5th Birthday Letter
4th Birthday Letter
3rd Birthday Letter
2nd Birthday Letter
1st Birthday Letter