Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Turning ten

Sophie celebrated her tenth birthday today. My oldest granddaughter went to have her hair cut and streaked (blue) with her momma. I spent the afternoon with little sister, Hannah, who graciously allowed the older sibling to spend some quality time alone with their mater.

The girls had just spent the weekend in Boston with their dad and had driven back this morning. Both were wilting by the end of day but exhaustion didn't preclude the trip to the beauty salon. When Sophie arrived back home, Hannah took a very close look at the new blue streak and promptly observed, "Sophie, you look SO Goth!"

Sophie, at ten though, is a not-so-little girl who defies categories. She loves "Goosebumps", a British telly series of Steven-King proportions; possesses a ready and dry wit; sings Irving Berlin and current Broadway tunes like a lark; has read all of Harry Potter (a couple years ago); asks me intriguing questions such as "What was the most advanced technology you had when you were growing up, Babci?"; shows compassion and care for those younger and weaker, be they human or pet; has a strong sense of right and wrong and the need to find fairness; is appreciative and voices her gratitude for even the little things like a milkshake treat on the way home from singing lessons.

Oh, Sophie, dear heart. I probably should find a way today, as you begin your next decade, to write a poem or a letter expressing just what it means to have you in my life. I guess this will have to do ...

Your tenth birthday. Scary movies. New earrings. A fashion scarf. Jewelry box. A chic new hairstyle with a signature streak! (God bless your momma who is much more tolerant than I was when she dared to color her hair in the bathroom and it turned orange-pink. I now wish I had taken her to the beauty salon instead.)

Your past few years have been a bit rough. You've had to make peace with life's not being so fair after all. And, yet, you continue to shine. You are brave and funny and bright and kind. I look at you now and catch a glimpse of the beautiful woman you will become. Your mom and dad have done their job well. But I think you already know that.

You were so tiny when you were born. I held you carefully, in awe of my first granddaughter. You still have the lifelike dolly I bought for you when I came to the hospital. (So big, it barely fit in the elevator!) Now, you tower over the doll and are almost ready to tower over me. Soon, we'll be sharing the same shoe size.

There may be some changes in both our lives this coming new year. We may be moving away from each other. It's too soon to tell what our immediate future holds.

For now, I play "Happy Birthday" to you on the piano and you smile back at me, your special Sophie smile. We share a moment.

That, my sweet girl, is enough.

No matter what happens in the months ahead, we will always be connected.

So Happy New Decade to you ... and me.

Continue to do what you've been doing. Go gently. Be kind while being tough enough to weather the storms. And, always, always keep a song on your lips and in your heart.

I am so proud of you.

Love, Babci xo