Happy 12th birthday sweet girl! Oh how I have loved watching you this year. You started middle school, finally made it back on stage, made new friends, earned a new nickname, and made us laugh more times than I can count. You are sweet and sassy and tiny and strong and I love every aspect of the person you are becoming.
This year you started middle school and of course took theater as an elective and then of course you joined drama club and then tried out for the school play, Dear Edwina Jr. And of course you made it. And we got to see you light up the stage once again after 3 years of not being in a show. And it did my mama heart good to see you sparkle. You had a grueling rehearsal schedule and every day you came home so excited to be doing what you loved with other kids who loved it as much as you. You also finally found a theater class in Greenville that you liked so I'm excited to see where that takes you over the next few years. I feel that one of the things that gives me the most joy as a parent is to see my children doing things that bring them immense joy.
This year you started middle school. It wasn't always easy as friendships changed and you also had to juggle having multiple teachers and organization is not your strong suit but you handled it. You tried out playing an instrument (viola) and decided that wasn't really your thing but I loved that you gave it a shot, stuck with it through hte year and then we'll try something different next year. Life is all about trying new things and figuring out what works for you.
I love that you still love to read. I have a whole album of pictures of you reading in various places. You have no problem finding a quiet corner and pulling your book out in the middle of a party. It's who you are and as an avid reader myself I see no problem with this! I love that reading is where you go when you need a breather. You are our introvert and often just need a short break from a crowd. You need a minute to escape into a world of your imagination. I also love that even as avid a reader as you are you still want me to read a book to you at night. As soon as we finish one book you ask me what we're reading next. It takes us about 10x longer to read them together than it would take for you to read them on your own but you never read ahead and you never complain. I love that I get to have that time with just you and I think you love it too.
You are our entertainer. I just never know what is going to come out of your mouth! You usually have some witty comment and I try to be close enough to you to hear it!
You have made some wonderful friends in Greenville but Lucy, in Columbia, is still your best friend. I love that y'all can go weeks without talking and then spend hours on facetime talking and laughing.
You earned a new nickname this year, Banana Slug. We were looking through the bin of summer clothes and you rejected a pair of shorts because, and I quote you, "I can only think of 2 words when I see those shorts: banana slug." Who even says that?? It was such an Ellie comment and so we now loving refer to you as Banana Slug!
You are such a good sister. I have always loved the way that you just slid right into your place in the family. I love that Emerson and you complement each other so well. You understand each other and the needs that each one of you has. From the time you were just a tiny thing you were always willing to let her tell you what to do...until you weren't. And she knew that when you put your foot down you meant it and that was that. You are my child that I rarely find playing with all your siblings together but am more likely to find having one on one time with someone. I am so thankful for the relationship that you have with each of your siblings and I love to see how different those relationships are but they all work and are all beautiful.
I can not wait to see what this year has in store for you. You are hoping you will grow (you're a little bitter that Ruthie can wear the same size clothes as you) but I do love that you are my tiny little one. I hope that no matter what you will be happy and content and have many fun adventures and opportunities. I love to see your excitment over little things and I hope you always find happiness in the small things in life.
I love you my Ellie Belly, Banana Slug!