Saturday, April 29, 2006

thirteen.

Thirteen years ago today, my baby Hope was born. When Jake was born with dark hair and dark eyes, I expected that all of our children would follow suit. Then along came Hope. Born with light brown hair but the same slate grey eyes that all of my children have, I thought, ok. Lighter brown hair. But those early wisps gave way to a shiny, nearly bald head that eventually sprouted silky blonde straight-as-a-stick hair. And the slate grey eyes turned into the loveliest grey-green-blue I could ever imagine, changing this way and that. Hope couldn't be more pleased that Lydia seems to have gotten her eyes.

Thirteen is such a time of change. The cusp between those kid years and the real teenage years to come. Already 5'4," Hope is all legs and emotions. She swings between this lovey, happy-go-lucky girl and someone who feels we are all plotting against her. She pleads her case for having a room of her own, but will happily squeeze in with two sisters to share a twin bunk and can't stand to sleep in the girls' room if at least one of the other two isn't there.

Hope holds herself to high standards when it comes to school. She's really bright and when she does less than nearly perfect, she is disappointed and strives to do better. This drive of hers both impresses and worries me. I love that she thinks so highly of her ability that she knows she can do better (and she does, once she decides to). But I don't want her to think that perfection is expected or required. Jake and Hope are both really smart kids (lest they feel slighted, the others are too, but they're not part of this story). But Jake is of the Good Enough is Good Enough variety (God help me, that's the student I was and I regret it), so it's fascinating to see Hope set academic goals and achieve them. We received a letter from the school in May inviting us to see her receive an award in June. She received a "top achiever" award for 4 of her 7 classes, meaning she had a 96% or higher. Nevermind straight A's...these were all high A's. She was also one of five in her grade to receive a Character Counts award, but that's just me bragging. Sorry. She's a braggalicious girl.

Teetering on the edge of childhood and not quite ready to step off, for her birthday she asked for an ipod and a doll. We compromised with a shiny new bike and a trip to the Bobbi Brown makeup counter for a lesson in artfully applying small amounts of makeup (a barely there tinted moisturizer and a gorgeous slab of shimmery pink blush). She was very pleased and used the makeup for about a week then decided to save it for later. She rides the bike all the time. I am pleased.

So Happy Birthday, Hopie Girl. One of my writers, one of my artists. My voracious reader that I can't buy a book for because nine times out of ten 99 times out of a hundred, it's a book you've already read. Twice. You have always been a shining beam in my life and I love you to death. Please feel free to stay a kid for quite a bit longer. But know that I've had a glimpse of the woman you will become and it makes me proud.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Angela Martínez said...

Happy birthday Hope! What a wonderful and difficult age to be. Your mother has captured your beauty and uniqueness here so well that I feel as if I know you. You are a wonderful young lady, and I wish you all the best.

10/30/2006 6:58 PM  

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