For a decade now you have made me a mother. Your old, wise soul has shaped me as it has stretched me, softened me as it has strengthened me. You, as the first, have carved out my motherhood path. I’m sure you came first for a reason, actually for lots of reasons. You’re strong and resilient enough to withstand (with grace) all my oh-so-imperfect attempts at getting this all right. (I’m sorry about that). You’re wise and trustworthy and duty bound and obedient and all of those qualities (along with lots more) make you such a good example to your younger siblings. And, you’re bossy and kind. Just what our family needs. You’re an incredible big sister.
Of course I have always loved you, but you know as well as anyone that sometimes things have been a little rough between us. Being first is a hard job. And raising your first is a hard job. We’re both learning as we go. There have been so many times over the years where we’ve talked (or yelled) past each other, butted heads, slammed doors. I’ve always known that as an adult you would be a stellar person, one I would trust and respect and like. But I’ve worried a lot over the years about how my relationship was going to be with that stellar person. Was she going to like me after all of this trial and error? All this yelling and slamming doors? To be honest, Haze, I was scared to death when you decided that home based schooling was right for you this year. I thought it had a pretty good chance of being a disaster. But you were sure, full of that determination that comes when you just know, deep in your soul, that something is right for you. And you were right, it has been amazing. You have been amazing. I think for so many years you were giving a lot of your best self at school. Now I get that best self, and really, I am blown away. And I’m feeling more and more confident that that stellar person and I are going to get along just fine.
So, since your ten, here are ten things I’m loving about you lately:
1. You are incredible with children. This is a gift. Not everyone has it. I don’t have it. You know how to grasp onto the wonder and magic that’s a part of children. You wake up their imaginations, show them all the adventure and beauty in the magical and make believe. I love watching you do that. For your siblings, for their friends, for your cousins.
3. You are generous and a good gift giver. This has been part of who you are from the beginning, certainly nothing that Dad or I gave you. Remember when you helped me pay for a new iphone when mine broke? And when you asked Santa to bring your present early, $100 to spend on your Christmas gifts for others? Wow.
4. You are funny. I’m trying to let you be funny more often….because when I give you room and stop nagging you, you’re one of the funniest people I know.
5. You’re an artist. You can see beauty in the ordinary. And you’ve got a sensor for all that is aesthetically pleasing.
6. You’re a musician. You can feel the music of life. And when it comes out of you it is beautiful.
7. You are trustworthy. I always know you are going to tell me the truth. Always.
8. You have a strong conscience. You know what is right. The right way to behave, to talk, to treat people. Your actions don’t always fall in line with what you know in your soul….but that’s the work of mortality.
9. You know what you need. And you fight for it.
10. You feel alive. You really live your life, feel all the depths, both the sorrow and the joy. This is a hard way to live, but a beautiful, full, rich way to live too.
I love you Hazel. Thanks for training me in this motherhood job.
ps. more about your oh-so-hazel birthday party soon.