Yes, you read that right. Eleven. You turn eleven. Are you kidding me? When did that happen? It is so cliche, and you will hear it when and if you are a parent, but don't blink, it really does go by so quickly, quicker than you can even imagine.
So eleven, huh? Big things this year, you started Middle School. That was pretty stressful for me, and frankly I thought it would be more difficult for you than it was. You are still adjusting to the schedule a bit, but you, for the most part, just went with the flow. New school, new routine, new adventures. I'll be honest, it was stressful for me because I have such horrible memories of my middle and high school years. There are many times that I try to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones, I just find few memories that stuck with me from that time that are positive. You and I have talked about this, I was a fat kid, and fat is SUCH an easy target for bullies, or mean teenage girls, it is like wearing a sign that says pick on me. It is why I work so hard to make sure that never happens to you, that you are active and make healthy eating choices.
You came home from school the other day in tears because of something another little girl had done to you, I'm not really sure if you heard it, but my heart cracked. For all the planning and preparation we did to get you ready for the challenges middle school throws at you, there still are those kids that will try to break down those around them. But after some tears and some talk of let's not hang around with her anymore, you were back to your old self. That amazingly self confident and brave girl you have become and continue to be.
Some other major events on your journey from 10 to 11. You went to your first sleep away camp. You loved it! We hadn't left the parking lot after picking you up and you asked if you could go back. You earned your red belt in Tae Kwon Do. You continue to compete in tournaments on a regular basis. You even taught a Tae Kwon Do lesson to some of your classmates in elementary school.
You got your ears pierced. It was a little traumatic beforehand but now you love them, and can't wait to wear all the earring you have been given. You saw your second rock concert- Big Time Rush and you met two gold medal Olympians. I would say overall it has been a pretty amazing year for you.
For all those big girl moments- those tween moments, you still have those moments where you want a hug. Or to sit and read together. We read the Hunger Games out loud to each other. What fun that was! And sometimes you'll go and pick up your Polly Pockets or your Littlest Pet Shop toys and sit and play like you did 2 or 3 years ago. You may have Taylor Swift or Big Time Rush playing in the background, it is this amazing dichotomy for me to to watch.
You continue your fashionista-ness. And you care more about how you look- not that you didn't care before, but now I don't have to remind you to brush your hair or your teeth (I am very happy we have reached this stage!!).
Your heart is as big as it ever was, and I think continues to grow. You are kind to everyone you meet, and I tell you as your Mom that both makes me happy and scares me. Happy because you see no difference in people, only good, and scared simply because I see so many opportunities for your heart to be broken when people you are generous with are not the same with you. It takes physical restraint sometimes for me not to intervene, I tell myself that broken hearts of all types happen no matter what and that your amazing self-confidence will carry you through them all.
You continue to be such a blessing, the Sunshine in my life. I love you more than you can imagine, more than I could ever imagine and I can't wait to see what year 12 brings!!