You are 8!!!!!! Something about eight has always felt big to me. Maybe it is from working in a school or maybe it’s just watching all your teeth start to fall out, but eight has always seemed like the delineation from little kid to kid, no longer little and not quite a big kid. It is hard to wrap my brain around my little peanut turning 8. You are still so tiny to me, I guess that comes with being the youngest. But, the last couple weeks of throwing you around with my old body, I am noticing the difference that 8 has brought, your new 50 pound body feels a lot harder to toss than the 45. I know the little days are fleeting. There comes a day when you pick your kid up for the last time, you just get too big, physically and maturity wise, so until that day comes I will cherish every time you say “uppie uppie uppie” and watch with pride as you throw yourself around.
That’s right, my little gymnastics star! You are the one in charge of hurling yourself through space and time. You are on the Bronze team at gymnastics! You have worked so hard for years to make the team and now you are doing it! You are practicing seven hours a week in the gym and you still keep going at home! One day you threw up at gymnastics and had to come home and you were soooooooo upset, not about getting sick, but about missing practice! You, the toddler that wailed “oh mommy oh mommy” while Rhonda watched you when I went to the doctor, happily leave me for 7 hours a week. You are a dedicated and loyal teammate. I admire your commitment to practice and the way you face challenges head-on, always striving to improve. Remember success in gymnastics, just like in life, comes not just from your physical abilities but from your mental strength and resilience. Continue working hard and believing in yourself, because there’s no limit to what you can achieve. As you turn 8, I hope you continue to embrace the world with the same enthusiasm and determination and may you always find pride and joy in your work.
I still remember when you were learning to walk, you were more interested in jumping. You would high plank and bounce your tush up and down, just willing yourself to leave the ground to then watching you walk on your toes, I knew you would keep us on ours. You still have the same infectious smile since you were a baby. We just finished doing Wordle today and the word was “smile”! What a sign! Even when Dad or Canton is a grumpy gus you can make them crack up with an impression or some physical comedy. You brighten every day when you scoot your chair to touch mine at lunchtime and when we dance our cares away at 12:34. You are the biggest cheerleader for your siblings. May you always express your love and happiness so freely.
I promise to be your biggest supporter and your shoulder to lean on in everything you do. Whether you’re conquering new skills on the uneven bars, facing a challenge in school, or tackling any other life adventure, I’ll always be there to support you and to catch you when you fall. Because you will fall, but I know nothing will keep you down for long. It is my honor to be your mom and I’m so glad that I have had to chance to help shape you from a sweet and curious baby to the young lady you are on the road to becoming. I’m so lucky you still reach from my hand in a parking lot, but the day will come when I don’t hold your hand anymore. But no matter how big your hand gets, it will always hold my heart.
Happy 8th Birthday, peanut! May this year be filled with even more incredible flips, twists, and soaring leaps. Keep reaching for the new heights, because you are destined for greatness.
I’ll stay with you forever!!!!!!