Dear A, 8 Years Old

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Dear A,

Teachers and other adults typically comment on three things when they describe you.

First, people say that you are "super sweet," "kind," and "caring." I concur. These attributes are evident in the ways that you treat others. You are selfless, choosing quietly to let others go first or to select the biggest scoop of ice cream. You are humble and funny, boosting others up while downplaying your own good deeds. To put it another way, you are a wonderful friend - attentive, compassionate, and amiable.

Dear A, 8 Years Old 1

Secondly, people wonder aloud at your speed and your sense of adventure. With admiration, they note your footwork and your form. You are crazy fast - partially due to your natural affinity for moving swiftly and partially because you never give up.

Going along with that, people remark on the fact that you are a very hard-working person. You are resolute and demonstrate admirable stick-to-it-ness.

Your favorite school subjects are math, reading, writing, and P.E. - but you would prefer to do them all outdoors or in game format if you could. The things you get most excited about on your lesson plan are: copywork, musical multiplication, and reading aloud (we're working our way through the pathway readers).

Speaking of games, you are The Board Game Queen in our house. You go around the house almost every single day and ask each person, "Will you play Cranium/Scattegories/Uno/Clue/(any other game!)?" You would play board games all day if you could.

Other things you love: hiking (with a distinct preference for steep and rocky paths in the wilderness), camping, exploring, drawing, taking care of each of your stuffed animals and dolls (who you know by name), riding your bike, reading just one more chapter, and swimming.

There is one other hobby that deserves a paragraph all of its own - writing letters to your penpals. You write letters like nobody's business. Needless to say, we're doing our part to keep the USPS in business. Sometimes you'll send out five or more letters at a time. You immediately write back when you receive a letter and you keep meticulous track of "whose turn" it is to write. Today, when we were out on a walk, you sighed, "I love Saturdays! There's no school AND the mail comes."

Your career ambition has not wavered since you were 4. Instead, you remain quite certain that you will be a doctor. The medical field will suit you well, I think. You are courageous, clear-headed, and not a bit squeamish around blood.

Dear A, 8 Years Old 2

While you are a natural beauty with golden curly locks that tumble down your shoulders all the way to your waist, you are far too practical and sporty to care much about fashion. We have to remind you to brush your hair ("I did!" - "Go do it again!"). You frequently wear mismatching socks. Your older sisters sometimes make note of the stains on your clothes, but what they don't understand is that you were probably licking an ice cream cone while riding your bike with one hand or eating your sandwich while climbing a tree. P.S. I think you have a fabulous sense of style.

Some of your favorite foods include corn on the cob, mashed potatoes, steak, garlic-stuffed olives, breakfast sausage, mangos, and maraschino cherries. On your birthday, you requested a bit of coffee in the morning.

Your other birthday wish (which, sadly, was not fulfilled this year) was for a dog. Indeed, it would be a dream-come-true for you to have a pet of any kind. In your own words: "When I blow out my candles, I always wish for a dog - ever since I was 4!"

Happy Birthday to our daring, darling, and delightful 8-year-old!

* I write letters to each of my children on their birthdays so that they will remember and I won’t forget. As Sheldon Vanauken so aptly put it, “Writing has something of the timeless about it – a breath of eternity.” 

©2020 Stephanie Sheaffer - All Rights Reserved
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