What 9 and 11 looks like

My youngest is 9 years old, the last of his single digit years.  He’s an old soul, possesses an inner calm, he has not out grown his righteousness streak and I wonder if it’s simply a part of his character.  He is quietly bold, I feel his presence deeply at the times he does NOT say something or does NOT react to provocation.  That said, one of my great joys is to hear him wax poetic about something – anything!  Like most lightly spoken people, when they DO say something, you want to listen!  Once tidy, he now prefers his room……un-tidy.  He has a best friend, he has a more complicated relationship with his sister that is more about choice than just being related.  He holds my hand or his sister’s hand or his dad’s hand when we walk places.  He gives me a morning hug and asks to be tucked in to bed at night.  He loves being read to and got into biographies about Robert E. Lee this year.  He also found a love for Stephen Foster, arguably America’s first pop star, you many know him from “O Susannah”.  He likes Rick Riordan books, J. K. Rowling, the “Wings of Fire” series, “Johnny Tremain” and “Where The Red Fern Grows” also top his list.  He skied his first black slope this year and put us all to shame on the mogals.  He is kind, honest and brave.

My daughter, my fearless wonder, is 11 but if you ask her how old she is, she may reply, “I’m almost 13”.  It seems she may choose to jump over year 12 altogether!  She decided to quit dancing this year, which was a brave, wonderful choice.  She has found a joy in art –  painting, drawing, clay work, I can see this being a steady thing in her life.  She’s thinking about what she’d like to be when she grows up, the answers are costume designer, architect, inventor.  She struggles with school everyday and gets very sad when the results don’t line up with her expectations, it breaks my heart.  But try she does and after a pep talk she’s ready to plunge in again and again.  She has an excellent memory and if you get the chance to hear her recite poetry you are in for a treat.  She loves being read to and always asks for another chapter when our time is up.  She fell in love with “Anne of Green Gables” this year and all I can think is “of course,” she is SO like Anne.  In our homeschool group of foam sword duels and nerf gun wars, she is considered one of the best fighters, even among the older kids.  She is often elected the leader of the teams and relishes creating maps and assigning each player’s duties.  She’s a loner, she’s courageous, she looks out for the little ones – whether little in spirit or in size.  She loves animals, she still loves Toca Boca games, she could eat a hamburger and chocolate shake everyday if I let her, she sings along with the radio and dances in the car, she plays legos and likes to keep her room tidy (this is a new development).

For all the young mamas and papas out there, who are just getting started with their families, I send you love, support, encouragement, peace, and rest.