"I can't bear it." You folded your hands over your face in misery.
We were reading the final chapters of "Charlotte's Web" and, though this is probably our third time reading it, your tender heart is not unmoved.
You have always felt things deeply - observing tiny details in nature and faces. You wish for a world with all hellos and no good-byes.
You are a girl of projects. When we moved into our new-old house, you did not hesitate to pick up paint rollers and hammers. In fact, you know far more about floor installation than I do - because you spent hours side-by-side with your dad - even using the saw on the back porch. You also painted your room - changing the walls from a sunny yellow to a clean white.
Now that your dad is scheming and dreaming about gardens, you are right there beside him. You want to be there at Lowe's and Home Depot, picking out the seeds and then coming home to dig holes in the soil. At this point, you probably prefer the outdoors to the indoors, wouldn't you say? Happiest in shorts and a tank top, with the sun on your shoulders and the breeze in your covetable curls.
Sitting still is not your forte - especially indoors. You yearn for the backyard and the mountains. You got that from your dad.
Your bedroom is travel-themed because you do love to GO. Anywhere. No matter where someone is going on two wheels or four, you are eager to join. Away on adventures - you like new places. On your dresser, you have a big metal Eiffel Tower and two genuine dolls from Brazil. I know you dream of going to both places. Especially Paris. I want to take you there and see it in life-size.
This year, you are soaring in math. You fly through the problems, often with classical music playing in the background (by request).
I'm reading "The Mysterious Benedict Society" aloud and we are all on the edge of our seats. You like audiobooks too - especially adventure stories. Of course.
You are unafraid of spiders. You like having people over. You tell us you wish we could buy an RV again to go to new places. You like to swim and hike, to bike and organize. You like to orchestrate, but not with music. You like to transform ordinary routines into occasions - glittering candles, cloth napkins, and bouquets in vases.
When it comes to visualizing things in 3-D, you have me beat. You surprise me by remembering walls and boulders and mailboxes. No wonder you like LEGOs so much. Sometimes I wonder if you will be an architect.
Nine is different than I thought it would be. You are far older than I remember being at 9 - more thoughtful. Is it possible that, at nine, you are already at the brink of growing up? I see glimpses of the future you - probably with a backpack on your shoulders, a plane ticket in your hands.
Wherever you go, remember who you are - loved beyond measure. Remember that you always have a place right here in my heart and in my arms. You can always come home and I will read you adventure stories.