Guinevere turned 11 this year. The funny thing is that I remember so much about being 11. 11 was when my memory turned on and life became a lot more concrete. Memory and life begins now as it’s starting to get recorded in sharpie instead of the revisionist version that’s all cloudy and foggy when you’re 10 and under. It’s strange to consider how old she is all of the sudden! She becoming a little woman, in her heart and everywhere else! She has grown three inches since the beginning of the school year!
Guinevere was pretty solidly set on hosting her first-ever, boy-girl birthday party when our Papa Bear found a screaming deal online for another opportunity to use our Disney passes for her birthday. Of course, she jumped at the chance and our hearts sighed with relief that, at least for one more year, we could pretend she’s not almost a fully-grown person. Disneyland allowed her to let her little girl out and it was there that she dressed in her Belle dress, wore her Ariel shirt and dressed in rainbows and unicorns. We held her hand, carried her on our hip, let her sit on our laps and babied her like she was still little… Silly, but it was lovely to be our little family wandering the park with joy and whimsy in our hearts like not so long ago.
We returned late at night on her birthday, then, two weeks later, she had a small sleepover with her friends. They giggled all night about boys, the upcoming skate night and sang as loud as they could to all their favorite songs. It was noisy and raucous; they were in heaven.
It’s funny how I love to remember her when she was little, but the reality is that I just like HER. Any age she has been has been a wonderful adventure: from the times when she was toddler aged and we had to ‘Sing-ho, for the life of a bear’ to march her out of the park like Christopher Robin or as the girl who asks boys to skate with her during the couples only portion of skate night, I just think she is a neat kid. I LIKE her. I’m not sure why that surprises me so much, that this person I’ve raised and have been talking to and playing with for 11 years is rapidly turning into one of my very best friends, but it pleases me to no end. I’m loving who she has been and who she is becoming. Lately Bradley and I will be talking and there she is, contributing to our family inside jokes, creating her own and participating in adult conversations with important and relevant remarks. I ADORE her. Can I say it enough?
Gigi grew up a lot this year. She established herself, at last, at her school. Her teacher was connected, artistic and full of love and appreciation for her fourth graders. Guinevere was loved from all sides and it was like fertilizer on her. I watched her grow into herself, becoming confident and secure with herself, for her desires and within her relationships. She made a solid group of good friends who all claim the term ‘adorkable’ applies to them as they like to obsess over Jack Skellington, my Little Pony and superheroes. While she has new friends, she still says that Jude is her best friend and she is his. She embraced running and started working out regularly, declaring that her goals in life are now to be a writer and personal trainer. She fell in love with the Twilight series and realized she loves romance novels as well as Calvin and Hobbes comic strips. Barbie still plays an active role in her imaginative world, but when she is not imagining their lives, she loves to play Animal Crossing, Minecraft and Tomagatchi Life on her electronic devices. She is a bright star, still, a hard worker in and out of school, receiving high marks and praise from anyone who gets to work with her. She is amazing.
October has been busy, as it seems to be as time marches on, and I never made time to sit down and acknowledge her shift from a 10 to an 11, but it’s never to late to celebrate her. Happy birthday to my favorite little woman in existence. To the coolest girl I know. To the kindest, most funny, smartest, most artistic 11 year old I know. My heart lives on through her and I believe that I couldn’t have made a better vessel.