And now we are eight…

Monkey turned eight today. We celebrated with small gifts from Otter, Daddy, and me, as her large gift and party are next weekend to accommodate out of town guests she wishes to have at her party.

Otter got her a CD Player, and a card. He picked the card out on his own, a fire engine that made real siren sounds, and wrote on both the card and the envelope with no help from his parents.

Otter writes on the envelope.

I made her a mix CD of some of my favorite songs, and some of her favorite songs, so I could stand to listen to them played ad nausem.

Lee got her the worlds largest Journal, and some really cool color pencils to write with per her request. Then we all went out to Earl’s on the 16th Street Mall for a steak dinner on the patio. It was surprisingly fun, as was the climbing of the addresses on the way back to the car.

Monkey and Otter climb on 410 17th Street.

Monkey is an O.

Then we came back to the house, munched ice cream, and got ready for bed. A pretty mellow birthday, saving the madness for the pirate extravaganza to come.

I am amazed, awed, and surprised at the person my girl has become. I found this picture from our camping trip to Kansas:

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Monkey patiently walks Otter back to Mom.
To me it speaks so clearly to the patience she has mastered over the past two years. She rarely has a harsh word for her brother, even in high 90 degree heat and sweat pants. Even when she is tired and cranky she will often be the one to take his hand and provide the extra care that makes his life a little sweeter than it would otherwise be. I do not always acknowledge how lucky I am to have such a patient young woman in my house, easing the way for all of us by taking the hand of our youngest family member, and calming him down. While I am quick to notice when her behavior causes problems for me, I am not always quick to notice when it eases the way, and for that my dear, I humbly apologize. You have made the past two years much easier by entertaining your brother upon many an occasion, by providing extra love and support for him, and by being his friend.

Monkey accepts yet another ride from Otter on his scooter.

She has grown more caring in other ways as well. When our dog Bella was sick, Monkey brought a book into the office and read stories to her to keep her company, so she wouldn’t be lonely and scared. It was very sweet.
Monkey reads to Bella

She is daring and brave and is not afraid to ask for what she wants in life. She wants to be a singer, for example, and ended up helping the band performing at my Inn of Court end of year party in exchange for a chance to sing with them. She helped the drummer set up and then got to sing “Old MacDonald” with them during their set. She was a little nervous and told me after that it was a lot harder singing into a microphone in front of so many people, but she got up there and did it, and never once faltered.

Monkey sings with the Jehovah's Waitress Protection Program.

She catches ladybugs and lets them crawl on her hands, frees drowning butterflies and places them safely in high up flowers so their wings will dry, rescues worms from rain puddles when we are out after a storm, and is generally good about relocating spiders to the outdoors when they surprise her in the bedroom or bathroom. She is becoming aware of the delicate nature of other things and seems eager to take care to preserve them. I am proud of her for being this careful about the world around her, even when I huff in frustration sometimes at the extra time these actions can often take.

Monkey watches a ladybug crawl on her finger.

We have had our issues this year for sure. She is stubborn and I fear I may need to have her hearing checked, or maybe clean her ears out more, or have my vocal chords checked, for she often seems to lack the ability to hear what I say.

However, despite the growing pains of seven, as my dear girl turns the corner towards eight she does so bearing the makings of a capital little woman. I am proud of who she is and I am proud of who she is becoming. What mother could ask for anything more?

I love you baby, Happy Birthday.

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