Wow my not-so-little girl, you are 8! Where did the year go? You made it through the first grade with ease, making friends, working dutifully, and participating in the school talent show. You decided to do a karate routine and you were fantastic! You joined the chess club, switched to karate with Ben, continued your swimming lessons, and started piano, and you wanted to do even more, but Momma is tired. Your energy is boundless at times, and you are always talking, making up and telling stories to me, your brother, and sometimes just to yourself and your toys in your room. One day you will be writing all these down, but for the moment they come out as performance art and I am always surprised by your imagination. Your artwork is definitely your own as well and I love to look at what you create and the fearlessness with which you draw your world.
You have many friends now, your outgoing nature and exuberance draws people in. Your best friend is still your brother though, and the way that you play and argue and discuss and negotiate always makes me smile. You know each other better than any other person in this world, and I hope that it is always this way.
We had so much fun this year, museums, biking, parks, hiking. Our favourite week was at a cottage where you learned to kayak and steer a paddle boat and we rode our bikes and got up late at night and watched the stars. You caught a toad our first day and on our last you caught a snake and carried him around for over an hour. By the end, you'd let him go on the grass and he'd return because he liked you and your warm hands.
You are starting to read more now and your love affair with books grows stronger. You long to read novels and soon there will be nothing in your way and then every story in the world will be yours. I am so excited for you, because I know how much you want to live in books. You hang on every word I read you and remember details from Harry Potter that I can't remember.
I love the person you are and the way that you see the world, you see beauty in a spiderweb lit by the sun and the mud spatters on the side of the car, you trace a heart on the frost on the window and marvel at the random patterns that exist everywhere. I see the world in an even more beautiful way because of you.
And even though your life can be a bit too dramatic at times and we are not always in agreement (I dread your teens), in the end we always manage a hug and an apology, which is important because I never want you to doubt that I am always on your side, even when it may not be obvious to you.
And you still creep into my bed some nights and cuddle up with me and fall back to sleep, just because you can.
I love you so much little Noo, nothing can change that, and I am so damn proud of everything that you do.
All my love,