Thursday, January 19, 2017

Love Letter, Month 84

Dear Kate,

You are 7 years old!
And no, I'm afraid you did not grow an inch overnight much as you insisted that you might. You hopped out of bed on your birthday and asked me to measure you saying, "Maybe I grew an inch and am now as tall as Lucy since we're both now 7."
You might not have grown an inch overnight but you most certainly have been growing up...and then regressing....and then growing....and then regressing..... You want so much to be independent and yet...not. It's a tough road to navigate...for all concerned, including Nana who visited this month.
This month saw Christmas come and go and with it, Nana and a few new traditions. We made our first gingerbread house.

Charlie, as is his custom, gifted you with a new nightgown on Christmas Eve.
You had quite the correspondence going with both Santa and Charlie this year.

Santa brought an early present which prompted this letter:
Sprinkling reindeer food on our front lawn was a new tradition this year.
Chocolate on Christmas morning has remained firmly rooted in our family and is by far your favorite tradition.
You asked Santa for a bell from his reindeer and were not disappointed.
You gave as good as you got though and it was such a lovely thing to see how much joy it brought you to be the giver of gifts.
"You are the best mom in the whole world. I love who? I love you to the moon and back. From Kate To Mom." Accompanying your note to me was one of your bells and keys from your collection. It was a thoughtful gift.
Nana was on the receiving end of your generosity as well.
Santa had a big surprise waiting for you and Lucy outside...

You got to spend a lot of quality time with Daddy. I know you don't realize this yet but you are very lucky in the Daddy department.

You got your first pair of ice hockey skates and spent a good portion of your holiday vacation learning to skate and hit a puck.

You started a few other new activities as well including a pull-out enrichment for math and English at school. You are very much enjoying the harder math concepts and proudly show me your work every week.

For Christmas, Daddy and I gifted you with a Saturday class through Northwestern University.  You started a Brainbusters math/riddle course which allows you to work 1 1/2-2 grade levels above your current grade.
Although you were a bit apprehensive without your sister,
by the time I returned 2 1/2 hours later, you were all smiles and excited for the next class.

One of your other gifts from Daddy and me was taekwondo classes at the local rec. center. You have been asking me about taekwondo for nearly 6 months so it was a great joy to see your face as you opened the note explaining when your lessons would begin.

You continue to read and write prolifically, both in English and in Mandarin.

Dreary weather is no problem when there is a library full of good books to be read. You discovered Calvin and Hobbes this month which led to a rather funny revelation about how your Uncle RyRy came to be called Spiff by your daddy and me. I'll let him finish the story when you are older.
One thing I hope you realize when you look back at these love letters is just how much you are loved, and not only by me but by many others. Your life is forever entertwined with family and friends who love you and want only the best for you. One of those special people is Ms. Julie who came to visit this month.

Another is your friend Scarlette. You asked not to have a big birthday party this year and instead wanted a day in Chicago with me. We planned it out together but I kept one surprise waiting in the wings for you: Scarlette would join us for part of the day. You were thrilled and had a blast! We started out the day with shopping in Chinatown. Among the treasures that found a home in your room: a glass teddy bear, a glass dolphin, and a Chinese good luck kitty.

After shopping we picked up Scarlette and headed to the salon for manicures (which you can see in the picture above) and a bit of makeup.

Next up was afternoon tea at the Drake.

And now for the yearly round up of your favorites:

Favorite Color(s): Purple, red, blue
Best Friend: Rico
Favorite Animal: Tiger (all cats)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Archeologist, scientist
Favorite Movie: Sing
Favorite Book: "That's hard. Ummm....Magic Tree House series"
What makes you happy? Reading, swimming
What makes you sad? When people bully me about my hair
Favorite Food: Cherries
Favorite Song: Happy New Year (in Chinese)
Favorite Game: Life
Favorite TV show: I don't know...what did Lucy pick? I guess Lion Guard

Happy Birthday my little girl. You confound me, vex me, astonish me and bring me great moments of utter joy. And that is what life is about I suppose. It is not a straight line nor is it designed to be devoid of struggle or heartache. The key is to learn from the struggles and move on from the heartache to see the beauty of the life you have been given as well as the beauty that your life brings to those around you. To feel in your bones the love that surrounds you every day.

That was my wish as you blew out your seven candles.

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