Abba Zabba... You have spent countless hours over the past year perfecting your handwriting. It's really lovely. You read faster than I can do anything. Really. The minute anything starts happening in the kitchen, you are underfoot: "Can I help???". You have mastered the new espresso machine and, while your energy level is absolutely fine uncaffeinated, Daddy and I are enjoying your budding barista services. You read Anna 14 books straight one night so I could finish dishes and take a shower. And that's not an unusual occurrence. Your hair is long and you like pigtail braids almost everyday, unless I'm willing to blow-dry/straighten (which I've only done twice. ever.) because you really wish your hair was straight. You asked for Gran to make crab legs for your birthday Sunday dinner - the amount of crab you cracked yourself and consumed was incredible. Well done. Anna's trip to the potty, the date/time of my next Baby Sing and Sign class, Elise's scraped knee, Daddy's work schedule... EVERYTHING concerns you. ;) Your latest daily activity involves keeping a detailed record of each day - no minute shall go undocumented with you around. That is the epitome of YOU: attentive and particular with a side of sensitivity.
Elise, aka "Huggy Bear"... Your dedication to making rainbow loom bracelets/pencil toppers/macarons/poptarts/dancers has blown us away. We should be selling your goods. ;) You are reckless in ways that lead to frequent scrapes and bruises but also in ways that give you the needed gumption to leap off the diving board like a pro. You are the current go-to in the car to ride beside Anna - she's not always the most polite of little people as a passenger and we appreciate your ability to ignore as needed, even when she's digging her toes into your arm. Sorry about that and thank you. You are in a cheeseburger phase of life and we dined out for your birthday at a restaurant chosen specifically for the burgers. That choice, combined with your recent affinity for making up knock-knock jokes ("knock, knock"... "who's there?"... "oliver"... "oliver who?"... "oliver our lights are on!"), proves that you are your Daddy's daughter. ;) Your drawings of characters are becoming detailed beyond belief, with such intricate lips and names like "Kukaquola Tamata".The entire family has recently started busting out your amazing happy dance and it's the epitome of YOU: confident and carefree with a side of silly.
What I want you both to know is that, because of you, I have all but forgotten what it feels like to be lonely. Just your absence when you spend a night at Gran and Grandpa's changes the entire feel of our house. As you head off to school tomorrow, you will be so incredibly missed. I am not in a season of life right now that craves "me" time. I crave "us" time. And because of that, this summer was damn near perfect. Daddy's flexible work schedule combined with our commitment to under-scheduling gave us family time at the pool, family time at the library, family time at the farmer's market, and slow mornings, lazy afternoons, and dinner around the kitchen table together nearly nightly.
It was the summer of Ace of Cakes during naptime, memorizing Go Away by Weezer, handstand competitions at the pool, hosting your first slumber party (the two of you plus a friend), and reading The Hobbit with Daddy.
My mama heart swells with happiness knowing that you'll be in the same class again together. You both have the ability, like magnets, to break free and stand on your own with such power but when you are reunited, it is a force to be reckoned with.
Off you go my third graders! Do your thing and then hurry home... "We" are incomplete without you!