I just — I can’t even. Eight? EIGHT?!? Say it isn’t so. Each year it takes me by surprise, the passing of time. And each year I swear it’s my favorite.
This year has been a challenge. We’ve asked a lot of you — to take on more responsibility and be more independent. With a crazier work schedule than ever before, I’ve needed you to be more grown-up than ever before. More chores. More initiative. More effort. And you know what? You are pretty darn good at stepping up; you actually seem to like taking on responsibility. I mean, you are definitely easily distracted (ahem) and struggle to follow through at times (ahem), but to help you out, Daddy is constantly reminding you, “There’s a beginning, middle and end to everything you do.” (Hey, we’re working on it, right? And we’ll love you and help you as you learn; that’s what parents do.)
Unsurprisingly, you continue to grow into the person we’ve always known you to be — passionate above all else, deep-feeling and deep-thinking, tender-hearted and empathetic, creative, intelligent, capable and determined. Truly, girl, you are already a force to be reckoned with.
This year, you’ve really come into your own. You are passionate about creating experiences — begging for fancy weeknight dinner recipes, setting up special table settings, making your own reward charts for us to fill out, concocting new recipes all on your own for us to taste-test. I love this about you, maybe because you get it from me? ;)
E.V. is still your idol. You are the typical little sister, and she’s the typical big sister. (Although I guess technically you’re as tall as she is still! I swear, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me if the two of you were twins…) I do feel like you and E.V. have turned a corner though, and you’re starting to act like best friends (or rather, E.V. is finally starting to act like your best friend back, haha!). I love catching the two of you hiding under her bed, watching some arts and crafts show on YouTube or hearing you guys holler back and forth about whatever video game you’re playing together on separate devices.
Cricket, I feel like you’re destined to work in some sort of creative field, and this year you’ve really become interested in acting. You and E.V. are taking an acting-singing-dancing class right now, and you LOVE it. You’re constantly putting together little plays, casting your friends and dreaming at night about costumes. You and E.V. also tried out for an acting company — and you chose a monologue, memorized and practiced it all by yourselves! I was so impressed. Honestly, girl, you have a knack for the stage, and I can’t wait to see if that’s the art you end up falling in love with!
Each night I tuck you in, I love our conversations. I love hearing your questions, your recaps of the day, and your complaints. I love watching baking videos and animal rescue videos with you. I love how well you love on those around you, how good of a snuggler you are, and how everything is an adventure when you’re involved. I love your sweet tooth and your sweet heart. I love your big feelings and your wild imagination. I love reading quietly with you and E.V., all crammed into a comfy bed together. I love dreaming up new crafts and parties and cakes designs with you. But most of all, I love being your mom.
Like I said, I swear on each birthday that this is my favorite age, and seven-year-old Cricket is no exception. Truthfully, I still love watching you sleep, rosy cheeks and pursed lips reminding me of Baby Cricket. At times I miss that little footie-pajamaed baby, but getting to know you, getting to help you in this world, and getting to watch you become YOU makes me even happier than those memories. (Although I secretly dread the day you lose that magical sleeping baby face…)
The truth is, Cricket, that God made you to need me, and me to need you. And I am so thankful he did. I am the luckiest mom and friend in the world to call you mine.
Happy eighth birthday, Crickie. I love you so much.
Mom (and Dad and E.V. and Birdie)