Seven years ago today, you were born. This year you're in the same state where you first arrived, but in a few weeks you'll return home to Texas and enjoy the ripe tomatoes that grew out of the compost you helped us spread in each pot of our container garden.
You've done a lot of new things this year, from riding on the DART train to having one of your photos judged at state-level competition, yet you're not too grown up yet to be embarrassed when I sang "Happy Birthday" to the answering machine at Maghee and Pop-Pop's house for you to hear after you came home from lunch. You're so girly that sometimes I don't know what to do, but you remembered your manners and thanked me and Daddy for sending you a Flower Pop Girl for your birthday that came with yummy lemon lip gloss. (I just liked the birthday cake tiara that doll had in the picture.)
You've become very considerate of the feelings of other people and have been very patient with your cousin pulling up to stand on you and experimentally poking your head and tugging your hair. You're a voracious reader that thinks of who you could share your books with when you get duplicates from the series you like. You've started to develop your own musical taste, which is a relief to me because it was a little disconcerting when you told people your favorite band was Splashdown, and style, which makes me giggle when you say "fa-SHION!". You've become more interested in taking care of yourself, preferring to shower because it gives you more time to blow-dry your hair and sniffing different choices in body wash, shampoo and detangler so all your products smell complementary -- and this time, very strawberry.
You were accepted into a district-level gifted program on your own strengths and display of your skills, which pleases me to no end although I worry a little how you'll adjust to a new school in the fall. I think you'll do great and you'll still get to play with your friends from our neighborhood school between Scouting and playdates with your best friend. She's counting down the days to when you return and wants you to come over and swim at her house. Our friends from Scouting are looking forward to seeing you at our pack's back-to-school pool party.
We've had some struggles during the year with me being sick, Daddy's change in work, and a new cat joining the household, but you've done a great job adjusting to changes and letting me know loud and clear when you think Fender-kitty's getting more of my snuggling time than you are. You've come out better for the challenges and I know you're going great places. Thanks for having me along for the ride.