You had it all planned out. For your 7th birthday, we would hike Seven Falls. On September 7th, we met at 7:45am and hiked approximately 7 miles.
10 adults, 11 kids. You led the way as you do. Running. Scrambling. Laughing. Tough as nails, but tender as they come.
I picked you up a few weeks ago to carry you to your bed (something that never happens anymore - you're far too responsible to fall asleep anywhere but in your bed) and smiled at the pure absurdity of it. You, with your gangly limbs, so long and limber.
Now that you're riding a two-wheeler, you practically soar around the cul-de-sac. If we don't watch the clock, you'll be outside for hours and get sunkissed on the cheeks and arms.
In school, you are fond of Latin and you teach us new words, phrases, and songs. An old language on a young person's tongue is a beautiful thing.
Of course, Art is at the tip-top of your favorite things. Aside from the times when you're biking or running or making up imaginative games with your sisters, you have a pencil, crayon, marker, or paintbrush attached to your hand. Oh, how you love to sketch - even in the car. We'll get to our destination and you'll hand us a lovely caricature. It's plain as plain that there are artists in your bloodline.
You have a knack for memorization. I'll be nervous about a lengthy recitation...and your quick mind will absorb it with rapidity. I forgot to go over an at-home test one day last week. In about 20 minutes, you knew all the answers and got 100%.
When you read your primers, you especially like the sentences with question marks and exclamation points, which is indicative of your life. You live like you read - curious, assertive, expressive.
I interviewed you a few days ago and asked about your career aspirations. Your answer: "a librarian and a doctor." I loved the AND, not the OR. Always think with the ands and the possibilities and the cans like that. No matter what anyone says.
My last question was this, "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" Your answer was joyful, barely missing a beat, "Around the world to help people." That was a lovely summation of you. Compassionate. Courageous. Capable.
I will admit that I'm terrified of the fact that you're certain to follow those words. But something else trumps my fear - pride. I am so proud of who you are and so very grateful to be your mother.