Happy birthday, JJ!

This is still what she looks like in my mind.

This is still what she looks like in my mind.

Yesterday, my Addison Julia turned 11 years old. This is completely shocking, because I just had her the other day. She was very excited about her birthday and woke up very early- which wasn’t that fun for her, since there isn’t much to do at 6am- and she was happy and chatty and animated all day long. Not unusual, obviously.

Addie J reminds me to slow down and be present now, rather than focusing on what’s next. I think of her as my little one, so I was surprised, this year, to hear her teachers using the word “leader” to describe her. But then: maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised. Addie, in her low-key way, certainly does like to express herself. For a couple of years now, she has been experimenting with short hairstyles of various extremes (she’s currently working an undercut bob, probably my favorite so far). She absolutely will not put on any piece of clothing she doesn’t like– and what she does like, she confidently wears regardless of anyone’s opinion (case in point). Addie is in that fleeting sweet spot between little kid and big kid; she’s interested in makeup and iPhones, but she still loves stuffed animals and Moana. She has a talent of making people around her feel happy and accepted, just as they are. No wonder she is a leader.

Addie has made me a happier person since the day she was born. She came into our family as a wonderful surprise- the best surprise I’ve ever had- and it is my privilege to watch her grow into herself. (It’s really cool that, out of all the children in the world, Dave and I actually got the best three. That worked out really nicely, didn’t it?) Happy birthday, JJ. I’m crazy about you.

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