Today, my oldest turns 11.

This was taken yesterday, after I took her for a big girl haircut. She looks so grown up it scares me to death.

It blows my mind that I’ve been a mom for eleven years. That I’ve survived, that they’ve survived. She’s an amazing little person. Smart, funny, confident, competetive, curious, fun, sometimes too sassy for her own good. She’s still not at the boycrazy stage (thank God), although I know she does notice them more. She doesn’t like the girldrama that’s going on in middle school. Luckily, she’s still talking to me about all of this stuff. Sometimes I look at her and see a flash of grown up, like when she says, “Hey, mom?” and tosses her hair back like a girlie girl.  Other times I see that same little face that she had when she was just a baby.

We celebrated this past weekend, with a not-sleepover girlie party on Friday night. Nine soon-to-be sixth graders invaded my home. The high-pitched squeals were deafening for the first hour, then settling into whispers and giggles. Saturday we had some family over for more celebrating. She got a whopper of a present this year, finally ditching mom’s old ipod for one of her own. She told me, “I feel special.”

You are special, sweetie. I hope you always feel that way.

Happy Birthday, Monkey.


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