Before I started this blog last year, I had a conversation with my college roommate—a dear friend who has been reading my writing for more years than I care to count. Knowing my love of the Associated Press Stylebook, she wondered if I would abandon journalistic conventions and adopt bloggy techniques like putting periods after one word for emphasis.
I had no intention of ever doing that, nor have I actually done it. Until now.
This week, my little Molly turns 11. And the only way I can sum up how this makes me feel is this: Simply. Not. Possible.
I had no such thoughts when older sister Lilly turned 11. She’s always seemed mature for her age and attacks everything she does—including getting older—with such intensity and determination. Plus, she was the first, and I suppose feelings are naturally a bit different when the baby of the family hits similar milestones.
Whatever the case, I’m having some trouble wrapping my head around the idea that my sweet little girl—who is still sweet and little in so many ways—is 11.
Ten didn’t have the same effect on me, it being such a nice, round, even number and all. But 11? I know the next odd number will be here before I can blink, and while that thought is actually kind of exciting, it also makes me a touch nostalgic. (OK, maybe more than a touch—who am I kidding?)
I wish there were some way to adequately describe this daughter of mine, some collection of words that would convey exactly who she is and how she operates. Maybe I’ll start with some observations her wonderful second-grade teacher included on progress reports throughout the year, such as:
“Molly has a sweet personality. I love to hear her giggle/laugh.”
“I love it when Molly gets excited about something.”
“Molly seems to have many interests.”
She nailed it, this teacher. Thankfully, she’s one of many educators Molly has had who didn’t make snap judgments about how quiet she seemed at first, but instead took the time to understand her personality and encourage her gifts.
Now, about those interests. A quick perusal of Molly’s birthday list sheds some light on that topic. The 42-item list (yes, you read that right) includes “a bathroom in my bedroom,” “a pet pig,” “a box of Lucky Charms,” “a remote-control flying airplane that is mechanical, with camera” and “plywood and other types of wood, enough to build two or three things.”
All this, from a girl who loves pink and has what could possibly be considered an unhealthy obsession with Barbie videos. (I promise, I’m not making any of this up.)
If you were to ask Randy to describe Molly, he wouldn’t hesitate for a second.
“Molly is awesome,” he would say, just as he as said to her many, many times.
And he’s right. She is awesome, and she knows it.
Not in an arrogant, “look-at-me, I’m-better-than-everyone-else” sort of way, though.
She simply believes her dad and trusts that what he says about her is true.
That’s why she signed a recent birthday card to Randy in this way:
Can your heart actually hurt because you love someone so much?
Yes. It. Can.