Cate refuses to accept that summer is over last Labor Day. Photo by MadGiddy.
I know Momma’s all over the world say this at nearly every birthday for nearly every child, but I cannot believe you are eight years old! You have such a sweet little voice, and the top of your head still smells like baby hair – so I often forget how much you have grown up!
The child development books say there are years of equilibrium and years of dis-equilibrium, and this has been an unbalanced year for you. You’ve done a great job, and worked hard at growing up, but it has been hard and sometimes you have been tired.
Seven has reminding me a lot of three, with my golden-haired baby suddenly errupting into ‘the rage mister.’ Daddy and I have tried to teach you that it’s okay to be angry. But that anger shouldn’t be thrown at other people. You’ve worked hard to get your anger into a reasonable level so that you don’t hurt the dog or your sissy with scary voices or mean words. I’m proud of you! And you are doing very VERY well at figuring out what emotion is hiding behind anger’s big noise. Did you know that a lot of grown-ups can’t even do that! You are so awesome!
This year we moved away from Seattle to Denmark. It was a HUMONGOUS change, and you are handling it really, really well. I know you are frustrated that you don’t speak Danish yet (especially because Sissy does.) But you understand SO much, and you are already making Danish friends. So don’t worry, you will speak it soon. And don’t worry about forgetting English either. I promise you will always remember your English words. You don’t have to trade one for the other.
Your superpower of Friendship has definitely been able to Shine this year! You made such close friends with sweet Claire before we left, and every kid in class wrote amazing things about you in your goodbye book. I’ll never forget you reading that book so tenderly, and not even wanting to share it with mommy at first, because you knew how precious all those words were. You cried a little and said, “Mommy, I wish I could just call all these friends and say ‘thank you’ because they said SUCH nice things about me!” And do you know what baby? They are all true! Just yesterday Daddy said that you have special aura about you that draws people to you. Everyone says they notice you because you have such cute hair, but Daddy thinks it is because of your superpower. People are drawn to you because you are such a good friend. I guess that’s why every kid on the street waves to me – even though I don’t know them—and then says to their Mom or the friend they are walking with, ‘Det er Cate’s Moa’ (That’s Cate’s Mom!) Everyone knows Cate because she is good friend!
You are going to get to do such amazing things this year! Go back to drum or piano lessons. Sail to an island in the Danish sea. And because sculpture is your favorite, we will go to Italy so you can see the very best sculpture in the whole world. I can’t wait to see you looking up at those amazing Michelangelo’s! By this time next year you will have a whole slew of new friends on your playdate schedule; a half dozen new pins on your ‘where I’ve been’ map; and maybe even a solo airplane flight to sail with Grandma and Grandpa on the Lady Penelope!
Thank you for being my younger (not little!) daughter, and for being the best cuddler in the whole wide world. I love you, ‘Baby’ Cate!