Bella turned 11 this month... eleven (sigh). She's off to middle school this year. Next year she'll be off to young women's and girls camp. She would of given anything to have gone with her older sister this year but she'll just have to spend one more year home with us... except I got to go to girls camp this year with that older sister...and it was amazing...so I can see why she is so excited to go.
She's my kid that is up for anything. Nothing like me. Stand up and sing a scat solo in front of a crowd? No thank you. Give a graduating speech for the fifth grade class? Nope. Come into a brand new school and run for student council? Not if my life depended on it.
She is amazing. Not because things come easy for her or everything always works out but because she has already figured out what a lot of adults haven't...you can learn from your failures as much as from your successes.
She's funny and witty and a talker like me and her Nana. I love how she'll sit beside me as I flip through magazines or surf the internet for new recipes or decorating ideas. She'll put in her 2 cents and sometimes... her ideas are far better than anything I suggest.
I love how confidant she is and how she has her own sense of style like the unusual shirt she made in fourth grade by cutting up old clothes and sewing them on a different shirt and then drawing different designs on the shirt with markers. I proclaimed it a master piece as she modeled it for us. Best homemade shirt ever (just like that homemade Cheshire cat in the tree...thank you, Cardin). But the next morning when she was headed out the door to school with her homemade shirt, I wasn't so sure that was a good idea. Not everyone has your keen sense of fashion I explained.
"Don't worry, Mom. I'll be fine. I don't care if the other kids don't like it. I love it." I learned a lot that day: (1) It turns out 9 year old girls have a totally different opinion on what is fashionable. Not only did the kids not make fun of her but several of them wanted her to make them a shirt too and (2) that kid of mine is going to be fine. I wish I had that kind of confidence.
I love her excitement and enthusiasm and her penchant for creative design. She keeps a box full of ideas, stories, yarn and fabric...so, so much fabric under her bed. She's always working on a project: sewing a flag for school, making a sculpture of Hernandez Cortes, or writing a story about portals and magic. But most of all I love her kindness. She stretches herself to be more than she is now and allows the difficult situations in her life to mold her into something better. She's amazing, and funny, and smart, and sweet and boy is she humble. If I said any of these things to her she would blush and be embarrassed...so we'll just keep this little post to ourselves. Happy Birthday, Bella. We love you.