Cate’s year of adventures, starting with the amusement park Tivoli in Copenhagen.
This morning when I woke up I was chewing, chewing, chewing away about what to write to you for this your Number Nine Birthday.
I’ve been thinking a lot about how Mama and Grandpa like to tease you about getting so grown up. I always say, “Catie! Who told you you could grow up so fast!” And Grandpa says you have to stay 8 another year because he missed your Number 8 year while you were in Denmark. (At least he’s “letting” you turn 9 when we celebrate all the cousins’ birthdays next week!)
But you know what Cate? I don’t think it’s very nice of us to tease you so. You are great at every age!
© We loved you when you were one second old and crying softly in the operating room.
© We loved you when you were Baby Cate and your tiny little tushy never touched the ground because no one ever wanted to put you down.
© We loved you when you were a toddler and said such funny things like “I am getting fwusterated” and “I got distwacked” and “That’s ig-GUSTING!” and “I NOT yelling. I cweaming. You know, CWEAMING!!!!”
© We loved you when you started school and uncovered your Superpower of being the Worlds Friendliest Child.
© And we love you now when you are still just the right fit for a cuddle, but getting so big and independent as well.
Every age and stage of life is full and good things and challenges. And just because we love your little self so, we shouldn’t make you think there’s not fantastic stuff ahead in your bigger and bigger girl self. Because baby, there is some good stuff waiting for you this year. Nine is just fine!
This year you did so many big kid things! You learned Danish, a language so hard even Mama can’t learn it – yet you speak it like a pro. Danish grownups always say how perfect your accent is! And you’ve made friends from all over the world: Danish pals like Sara and Sidse, Mia from China, and dear, sweet Johanna from Estonia. You get to do a lot more independent things now, like taking the dog out by yourself or riding your bike to the library with Eden. You even get to walk to the train station to meet Daddy for dinner at McDonalds! Woah! I don’t think I got to do any of that stuff until I was at least 10 – and that was in the old days when kids got to do that stuff younger. You are really doing great on the responsibility thing Cate!
I hope you will always remember your wonderful year of adventures: riding the double-decker bus in London; drawing the David in your sketch book in Italy: learning about old fashioned skole in Sweden; and picking up pebbles from the Berlin Wall in Germany. And don’t forget the Towers and Dome Tour of Europe with Eden and Daddy! I wonder how many steps you three have climbed to get to the top of the world?
I know this birthday summer here on the island with Giggy, Bompa and the cousins is going so fantastic for you. I’m so glad you get to start Year Nine off in such a beautiful place. I hope the peacefulness of this place – the still morning waters, the long glowing sunsets, and the hush of the rustling trees—sinks down deep inside you and fills you up for when times are not-so-easy. And I know you will be filled up to the top with joy as you run around with your sister and cousins: going out in the double kayak with Preston, building forts and hunting for treasure with Noah and Luke, and showing Jilly and Ammelia all the best places to find crabs. Not to mention all the fun that is waiting for us still with the big Chapman cousins in Chicago. (Oh, Mommy cannot stand to look when y’all have Danger Adventures with the big boys! “Do you know you are very brave?”)
Lots of Love,
Cate loves collage, drawing, cooking, giggling and screaming. She celebrated her birthday with mocktails, sushi, and a Costco cake that could feed approximately 3,000. She is having 5 birthday parites this year in 2 countries, 2 cities, and 4 houses. You can celebrate her for hours here and here.