Naomi is 12!

My darling girl, you are 12! You are transforming into a young woman before my eyes. I cannot believe how much older you seem compared to a year ago!
You are in your final year of elementary school, and you are working hard on your studies. You are a prefect at school and handling the responsibilities well. You have also decided which high school you want to go to next year after the multiple open houses. This year, you completed 14k for the school's Terry Fox Run, are continuing figure skating, and you have also discovered that you love hiking up steep trails full of rocks. We went to Vermont this summer and you ran up the black diamond trail like a mountain goat! 
You are still a big reader (currently Hunger Games), a huge LaurenZ fan, and your imagination never ceases to amaze me - from stories you make up with your brother, to the art you create, the images and videos you make, and the plays you perform, you bring your immense, shining personality to everything you do and make it your own. 
You go your own way and follow your own path. You are not in a hurry to grow up, you have no desire to pretend to be anything that you are not. I am so proud of you for that. You know who you are, and that is such an amazing gift.  You support your friends with your wisdom, and you stick up for them and what you think is right. People look up to your strength.
Through all that you do there is a love of life and a love of laughter. You make everyone you touch richer for it, and your energy lights up a room, a city, the world. 
You are an amazing person, and I cannot wait to see how much more awaits you this year. I continue to be in awe of the wonderful girl I brought into the world.
I love you with all my heart,
Momma
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14!

Ben you are 14! You have been a teenager for an entire year, and so far, so good :)

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It is almost a year since we got on a plane and started our summer adventure in Europe and Iceland. You were an amazing travel companion and you and your sister came back different people, more mature and confident and with your minds full of cottage fun, cousins, boats, Lego, lost luggage, waterfalls, and ice cream reviews.
You started high school this year and started taking public transit by yourself. There were some mishaps, but you learned and now can navigate with relative ease. You had to work super hard at school this year to catch up a bit and adapt to the new pace and you did it, passing all your subjects. In addition, you ran cross country and got braces! You look so different with your shiny metal smile and other than the first few days, you haven't complained even though you had to give up some favourite treats.
You are still progressing in karate and piano, and this year at camp you are an urban explorer and going all over the city. You have sprouted up and are now taller than your grandmother and nearly as tall as me - now if you could gain some weight! You also discovered Monty Python and think they are hilarious! Your mother is very, very proud :)
You continue to light up the world with your smile, your humour, and your love and kindness for those around you. I have yet to meet a person who walks through the world as sweetly as you do. I am so very lucky to know your wonderful spirit and realise that part of me that resides in you is so utterly perfect.
I love you with all my heart little boo.
Kisses and hugs,

Momma

Naomi is 11!

My Lovely Naomi,
It's your birthday and you are 11! So much has happened this year!
You have transformed into a tween, but a very nice one. You have grown taller and soon you will be looking down at the top of my head. This year we went to Europe and you came back more mature. You swam in the sea, drove a jet ski, climbed mountains, stood on glaciers, became an ice cream connoisseur, and learned a bit of Finnish, Danish, and Icelandic along the way. I could not be more proud of the way that you navigated the world, how you enjoyed every new experience and held it together when jetlag and travelling schedules made life challenging.
You have started grade 5, you are the top-ranked chess player at school, you are the helper for the Welcome class, you have taken up figure skating, and piano continues to progress. You have become a big Harry Potter fan and are buried in the books, and all books - you love to read! You still want to be a surgeon and help others. Your life is filled with so much movement and light and creativity - art springs up out of you in the most amazing ways.
You find it hard when people are critical with you even though it is constructive. I get that, it's hard, but it will get easier I hope.
As you continue to grow into a young woman, so much remains the same: you are still the source of so much love and spirit and energy. I am in awe of you and the life that radiates from you. I cannot wait to see what this year brings.
I love you more each day, you are my hero.
Love, love, more love,
Momma

Come

And I watched a hundred black crows
Fly through the red tint of approaching sunset
Clear winter sky,
And I called out, Yes, darling! Please return!
As I smiled and turned to face the dying sun.

the rain

The rain is luscious this morning. Lying here with a cool breeze coming in the window, listening to the soft sound of the water hitting the earth and the thunder rumbling long in the distance. Summer storms are the best.

Transient

Two weeks

Two weeks since he died. On my way to Amsterdam, then home. Soon this trip to Prague will only be a memory of numbing cold and grey skies, golden theatres and smokey cafes, and turning out the light every night and crying when I realise he is gone. It is an odd pain, distant and unreal and then so present and biting. Like knowing you have lost something so important, without being able to put it into words. The only man who will love me so unquestionably is gone. Every light moment of laughter and wonder has been tinged with something else, and there is no one to comfort my heart, so I must keep searching for wonder and hope that the crying someday stops.

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