I’m a little behind, but someone around here had a birthday. A big one. Ending in the digit “0.” That’s right, Eleanor has joined the ranks of the double digits.
For some reason, Eleanor’s birthday always sends me into flashback mode. I remember my pregnancy and her birth much more than Sam’s. Maybe it’s the eight weeks I spent on bed rest thinking she wasn’t going to make it. Whatever the reason, I always seem more nostalgic.
Eleanor is an amazing kid. She is super-smart. And for those of you who have smart kids, you know what I mean when I say that it’s hard to parent a super-smart kid. She remembers everything. And argues about everything. Even when she’s wrong. She can drive me absolutely bonkers, but at the same time, it makes me proud to see her intelligence shine through. (Which in turn makes me even more bonkers…)
Eleanor is tall. She has always been tall. I think that has worked against her in some ways. People have always expected her to be more mature than her age, just because she looks older. I’m guilty of it, even though I try very hard to keep her real age in mind. But sometimes she acts even younger than her real age, which is even harder.
This year, Eleanor finally got a chance to play basketball. Because she was in gymnastics, tennis, and then swimming, we’d never been able to put her on a team before. This year was her first chance. I was a little leery about the whole thing, as she doesn’t really enjoy physical activity, and definitely likes lots of breaks, which isn’t consistent with basketball. But she has LOVED it. She was a little behind, since most of her teammates had played before, but she has learned a lot and come a long way. I have to say…I’m impressed.
Eleanor has probably done the best of any of us since moving at making new friends. Our next door neighbor has become a constant fixture in her life, with one of them spending the night at the others’ house at least once a weekend. And, she has more friends at school who have welcomed her to a new place. She’s a lot like her (fundraiser) dad…she can talk to anyone and as soon as she’s met them, she considers them a life-long friend.
So now she’s ten. Which is exciting and scary at the same time. She’s at the age where she is starting to be critical of the way she looks, which breaks my heart because I think she’s so beautiful. She isn’t happy about her weight, doesn’t like the space between her teeth, and doesn’t want to be the tallest kid in the 4th grade. So I’m savoring these last moment of childhood while fully aware that we are entering into adolescence. Happy birthday, Eleanor.