To Allie on her 8th Birthday

4 Mar

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Dear Allie,

You’re 8 today. Eight whole years old. It’s very cliche to say that I can’t believe you are eight, but it’s also very honest. It’s so hard for me to believe you used to a baby, and I rocked you while singing Red Hot Chili Pepper songs, because I was 20, and the only lullaby I knew was Rock-A-Bye baby, which sounds kind of creepy to me. So you fell asleep to ‘Under the Bridge’ and ‘Scar Tissue’, even ‘Stadium Arcadium’ after it came out, but I never full mastered it.

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You’re such a special and funny girl. And so interesting. And smart. And just gorgeous. You’re a wonderful daughter and a great companion to have around.

Some important things about you: You hate armpits. You hate seeing them and break into a dramatic fit anytime someone is wearing a tanktop or shirt with no sleeves. “WHY DO THEY SHOW THEM? THEY’RE GROSS!” You cry. And you’re right. We both agree that it is a true travesty anyone finds it socially acceptable to cut the sleeves off of a t-shirt and wear it. It is two seconds of redneck away from streaking at a NASCAR race. During a very serious discussion regarding your disgust you once told me that, “armpits are gross and smelly and hairy. No one should show them and if they do, THEY ARE A REAL SICKO.A REAL SICKO! ” And probably, you’re right.

(A lot of this letter is in caps when I’m quoting you. Because you find it appropriate to yell when you are expressing opinions. I guess it works, because most people end up listening to the loudest person in the room, even when they don’t want to do so. )

Your favorite cousin is going through puberty at the moment. She has been for a bit, and you have so many questions about it. Sometimes answering them is mentally taxing, especially when you drill me about when you will get your “woman boobs”. I try to answer them in a fashion that is honest yet keeps you young. “Mom, my cousin says she has hormones now. I guess that’s why she is hateful sometimes. WHAT are hormones? Why do they make people snappy?? She also won’t let me say boobies or even breasts. She says I have to say chest. Chest, Mom. It’s ridiculous.” Ridiculous, indeed.

You’re an entrepreneur. You opened a cookie stand and on the very first day, you made $50. You stashed it with your tooth fairy funds rather than spend it on toys or clothes or technology. You save every dime you make. I tried to convince you that perhaps we should open a bank account in which you could accumulate your funds. However, you told me point blank, “Mom! How do you know the bank won’t get poor one day and just steal my money out of my account. If I can’t see it, they can take it. If I can see it, they CAN’T take it.” I considered arguing with you about your logic. But at the end of the day, there is a point at which your opinion can be true So instead, you hoard it in a very secret place that only you and I know. Maybe one day you will come to terms with banks, but I feel it isn’t going to be anytime soon.

As far as school goes, you have made straight 100s on every spelling test this year. You love school. You like to get there early to eat breakfast and gossip with your friends. You love your friends. You love animals. You love inside jokes and Pretty Little Liars. On Tuesday nights, after you go to ballet, gymnastics, and hip-hop class, we curl up on the couch under covers and closely watch the details of the lives of Hannah, Emily, Aria, and Spencer play out on the screen of the tv. If the day comes that they never reveal who A is, I fear for ABC Family and the author of the books Sara Sheperd. Hell hath no fury like a redhead scorned by a cliffhanger. I’m certain you may explode.

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Recently, you tried to get Austin to start watching Pretty Little Liars, which was very amusing. In your special addition Pretty Little Liars magazine, you found an article about how to get boys to watch the show. I think you tried to use those tricks, and even made me read them in the event that I needed help getting him to watch it. After you asked, he agreed to try it, because he is kind and also because he thought it was 30 minutes long and not an hour. He playfully pestered you the whole time. “Is this show about zombies Allie? Is it about vampires? Which one is a zombie? Which one of them is the werewolf? Which one of them is the head vampire? Do they drink blood or not? The black haired girl is the vampire, isn’t she? The ones with black hair are usually the vampires.” You huffed, but answered his questions with continuous nos. When he left to go home a few minutes later, you looked at me in a confiding manner and said, “Mom, I like Austin. He’s nice. But I have NO IDEA how you watch tv with him. Did you hear how many questions he asked me about that tv show? Seriously. He just didn’t get it. Vampires this. Vampires that. Shew.” And then you walked off to do random cartwheels and break dance, because that’s just how you roll.

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You drove a boat on the lake for the first time this past Summer. You were so excited, and you would try to hit every small wave as it approached. You stood behind the wheel with your curly red locks flying into the wind and skinny legs locking your stance in place. It was so fun to watch. I could tell that you felt free, and it was the kind of moment you would think about later in life and be happy.

I admire so many things about you. I could carry on for days. You make me laugh endlessly. Whether you are dancing behind a stranger in Wal-Mart as part of a dance dare for The Ellen Show:

Or tucking in every stuffed animal you have taken in as a favorite, most of them from Build-A-Bear for birthdays and sitting through your flu shot without freaking out. And you still have your long time pal and water baby, Gary:

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Sometimes when you find me asleep, you tuck one in with me as well. You’re so thoughtful. You even send get well cards to kids who are sick at school if they are out for more than one day. Just a few days ago I found you hoarding programs from your church in your bedroom. I dared to ask why they were stacking up on your night stand. “I pray for them, Mom. They list the sick people in there that need prayers. So I pray for them. I say each one of their names. You should read that list, too! Some of them have hard last names to pronounce. I kind of wish only people with easy last names got sick, but I guess that wouldn’t be fair.” I hugged you until you told me that I was squashing your guts, because you’re such an admirable little girl. You are just the sort of person that people should desire to be like.

Sometimes I look at you, and I’m amazed that my uterus made something worthy of being a Disney Princess.

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I tell you that you are smart, kind, strong, funny, and that I love you. I tell you that you are beautiful as well. Probably not as often as the others. For many reason, really. One being that you know you are pretty. The major reason, most likely, is that I never want you to rely on your impeccable face to get you through life. While you are pretty, you are so many other things, and for your confidence to rest solely on your flawless face would be a travesty. So I tell you how pretty you are, but mostly I tell you all of the other things you are.

One of the more amusing and confusing things that has happened lately was in Kroger. A stranger, an older woman in a floral print sweatshirt with classic short old lady hair a la Sophia of the Golden Girls, approached you and said, “You’re such a pretty little girl.” You looked her in the eye, and said, “I know, but thank you.” I was shocked that you didn’t just say thank you. But at the end of the day, I think that if you remain that confident through your teenage years, I will buy you a unicorn that drools rainbows.

If you know anything in this world, I think it’s important that you realize I love you, even more important than the multiplication facts you have been furiously studying. You see, it’s important you realize that I have never seen you enter a room that you could not take over with your charm and wit. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love you. And that’s important. Overall, I just hope that you know that I love you dearly, and I support any decision you make, even when it’s the the right one, wrong one, or the hard one.

I know that it has always helped me to know that my mother loves and supports me. She used to write me letters in my birthday cards or congratulation cards that were similar to this. I always loved them. When I was having a bad day, I would go back and reread them all, and it meant so much to me that she had taken the time to detail important things. But mostly, it has always meant a lot to me to know that no matter what happens, my mom loves me. It’s helped me make a lot of decisions in life, even when they are difficult decisions that most people didn’t like, but were better for me in the long run. My mom loves me. And your mom loves you. Endlessly and forever.

Happy 8th Birthday! If ever a girl in this world deserved to have a wonderful birthday, it is you.

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I love you for always,

Mom

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One Response to “To Allie on her 8th Birthday”

  1. allie April 1, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    that is so beautiful

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