My girl. My budding artist. Friday you turned 8. I'm at a loss to see how you've slipped through my fingertips. Once, my only child. Now, my oldest beauty. You are no longer a little girl. You've long since passed that stage this year. You're all big girl, now, and your maturity, kindness and grace are, by far, your biggest and best assets in life.
You celebrate your excitement with a quick intake of breath and a broad smile. You hide your sadness by burying your head to cover the tears. You watch, observe, think, mull over and internalize everything you see and hear. You're an old soul. A wise soul. A tender soul.
This time, last year, your life's ambition was to be a veterinarian. This year, you want to be a bird watcher and an artist. You say you'd like to travel the world, watching birds.
You want to study them, take notes on the behavior and sketch pictures, all to submit to scientist so they can learn more. You want to find new types of birds so you can have the privilege of naming them. Such big ideas and big ambitions you have!
You had your well-check on Friday, as well. Still "long and lean," as your pediatrician says. She asked you what grade you're in. 2nd/3rd was your response. She asked what was your favorite subject. Science. Your least? Journaling.
You told her you disliked journaling because when you're trying to think, Mommy yells at you saying, "Come on, just write. Lets go, Kyra, get your school work done. Why are you just sitting there, Kyra, get it done."
The exaggeration, yet still spot on mimicking, nearly threw the pediatrician and I into fits of giggles. When I chimed in that it didn't help that you'd sit there for five minutes "thinking", as well as balancing a pencil on your nose, inspecting your fingernails or staring off into space. Yes. I get exasperated and try to move you along. And not always with the kindest tone. Though I'm sure exasperated and yelling sound the same to an 8 year old. At least it did when I was 8.
Your pediatrician suggested in those moments we reset your brain by making you do a repeated physical activity. She called it by a specific name that I can't recall, but described it as in asking you to do a certain number of jumping jacks, moving a set of blocks from one side of the room and setting them up on the other side of the room or running a loop or two around the house before coming back to school work.
You and I both found that suggestion quite funny. But you know what? I'm willing to try it. Just so you don't have to feel like I'm always yelling at you to get your school work done... even when I haven't raised my voice.
You are growing up, whether I like it or not. My only goal is to be the best Mommy to you I can be. The best Mommy to help make the best Kyra. I'm proud of you. You're growing up to be a wonderful sister, daughter, friend and Big Girl.
Happy Birthday, Kyra Shea. I love you. And your duck.