she believed she could

by MrsFatass on October 1, 2017

Dear Bear,

You’ve been excited about turning TEN since the day after you turned nine. I want time to slow down, but you are charging ahead! Growing up! Greeting each new day with wide open arms!

Every time I write one of these letters I say something about how special you are. But it’s true. You have such a loving, positive energy. You’re like a walking belly laugh. You feel a whole spectrum of emotions – but you don’t stay stuck in any of them. You always come back to joy.

You went to see Santa this year, and he was a good one. He knew you had two dogs, and you couldn’t even begin to wrap your head around how he knew that, because you were beginning to have questions, and people around you were trying to shake your faith. I really think the Santa we went to see was an angel looking out for you, the perfect Santa at the perfect time, who taught you that belief in the magic of Christmas was just as good as believing in Santa Claus. Better, even.

You found your happy place in Running Club, and this mama couldn’t be happier about that. Every week you would get in the car and tell me about your workouts, and as the talk went on you began to tell me about how it felt when you’d run. You’re not a shallow person at all, but sometimes I have to work to get you to peel away some layers and get deep; talking about running club was a great way to get you to vent your frustrations, your challenges and even your hurts. Because your coaches provided you a safe and positive place, and as you warmed up and got moving, you could feel the day melting away. You always walked out with a red face and a big smile.

And you ran races! You ran so many races that we had to get a plaque for you to hang your bibs and your medals!

You also did your first obstacle course race. You climbed and you crawled and you made your way all the way through a race that even I could barely finish. You absolutely crushed it, and I’m just so proud of you for getting in there and facing your fears.

We cheered on your second season of basketball, which was super fun, but I think the bigger milestone was your first year of basketball camp! Your brother has been travelling to Florida every June to take part in camp, and this year, you did too. Your team advanced in the tournament, but lost. However, my heart nearly exploded when your brother – sharing his experience in such matters – put his arm around you and commiserated. 

The Daddy/Daughter Dance this year was extra special for you. You were in love with your dress, you were so excited to go to your friend’s house for photos and hors d’oeuvres, and you couldn’t wait to get there and see everyone.

But what you really loved was being with your Daddy. You are two peas in a pod, you and your dad. When his mother told us she was sick, you hopped in the car with him to go visit her, and later when we got the news that she died, well, I’ve never seen you so sad. You were sad to lose your grandma, yes, but you were sad because you knew your Dad was sad. And even now, almost a year later, you haven’t forgotten her and you haven’t forgotten to be concerned about your dad’s feelings. You were looking forward to that dance because you and your dad always have so much fun going together, and you knew it would make him happy.

There are so many things you experienced this year that you loved! You proclaimed it to be the Best! Halloween! Ever! when your costume turned out perfectly, and when we all dressed up with our friends and trick or treated until your bags were crammed full!

You fed a giraffe at the zoo, which made you actually jump for joy. A literal, actual jump!

You are crazy about sharks, which can be seen in the number of shark books, shark necklaces, shark teeth, shark slippers, shark stuffed animals and shark beach towels you own.

You love your dogs with your whole entire heart, and they love you back just as much.

And you learned that you love babies – and one baby in particular – and you are dying to be old enough to babysit.

Even with all the happiness, there were some frustrations for you this year. For the very first time, you didn’t really love your teacher, and when you’re in elementary school in a classroom with the same teacher day in and day out, that can make for a long year. Your love for school began to wane, and I was concerned. Also, the same bus driver that was a problem for your brother became a problem for you, too, and there were many days where you’d get off of the bus in tears. You’re a good kid and a rule follower, but the constant fussing and negative feedback from these two authority figures really wore you down after a while. When the kids who lived across the street moved, you and your brother moped around together. The neighborhood just didn’t seem the same without them. We said no to most play dates and all sleepovers for you too, which was kind of a bummer, but you also kind of appreciated. Now that we know how stressed you were in some previous situations, we decided to just take them all off the table for a while. And it was a relief. 

And, this was the year that you reluctantly decided to stop sucking your thumb.

But, my dear, 10 is a brand new year.

You’re kicking off your tenth year in a new house, in a new city, in a new school, and with new opportunities, and once again you are embracing it all with pure joy! You loved your new school as soon as you laid eyes on it, and you eagerly accepted the school uniforms, which I must say look fabulous on you.

Your teacher might be another angel sent to watch over you, because you knew in an instant that she was kind, and positive, and funny, and encouraging. There hasn’t been one single day yet where you’ve come home sad or upset about anything that has happened in class; your love for school has returned and your straight As have too! You also have a new running club, which you approached in a very tentative manner. You weren’t sure you could strike gold twice, but, sure enough, you still love to run.

Your birthday happened smack dab in the middle of a hurricane. School was closed and it was the first year I didn’t bring cupcakes for a class party, and we had to reschedule your birthday party since most of our town was still without power and under water. But you rolled with the punches. You and your dad managed to find a Dunkin’ Donuts that was open so you could have your birthday coffee date. I hung up streamers and your brother blew up balloons. You baked and decorated your own cake. You were thrilled to get a Dream Tent, which was the only thing you truly wanted.

And you had your two best friends come over to celebrate.

Arranging the play date took some doing. I had never met the girls, and didn’t know the parents, and they didn’t know me, so there was lots of Facebook Stalking texting and coordinating and making sure everyone was comfortable. And you know what?

It turned out beautifully. It was perfect. 

Your judge of character continues to be spot on.

The things that made you anxious last year? They don’t exist with your new friends. You chose girls with a similar sweetness, and innocence, and character to you. Your dad and I listened to the laughter and chatter in the playroom with big smiles on our faces.

It was fun. Pure and simple.

I think that ten is going to be a very good year for you, my sweet Care Bear. I think there will be a lot more laughter and a lot less frustration.

I can see why you were so excited for this one.

I love you,


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