October 27, 2005

Another Baby Birthday

RJ turned 10 today. Ten is big, the first jump into double digits. My baby girl says of her birthday "Another year, more mistakes to be made, more things to do" Sigh.

Let me tell you about this child of mine. She was born mid-morning after a long night of labor, just after her grandmother and father got back from getting breakfast in the cafeteria. 8lbs 13 oz. RJ named herself before she was born and made sure we didn't choose anything else. As an infant she was quite the screamer...when she didn't get her way. She had everyone wrapped around her finger. Her big brother spoke for her and brought stuff to her. It wasn't until he went to a family thing with his father for a weekend that she decided to crawl.

Once she was moving, she has never stopped. She climbed before she could walk. You could blink and she was on top of something, had scaled bookshelves, climbed into her crib. She also ran. She still runs.

She didn't talk until she was almost two. I worried that an ear infection had damaged her hearing. No. She was just biding her time. She mimicked things before that. I used to have a wav file of her saying "you've got mail". She scared me into thinking she was going to be a fashion queen by saying she "french toast outfit" after I offered in classic mommy style "do you want to wear this dress or the french toast outfit today" Meaningless patter to see about developing a vocabulary. She isn't my fashion conscious one. She has opinions about what to wear but seems to have absorbed that clothes aren't what makes a woman. When she finally spoke real words...it was a sentence. Yes, a sentence, on a day when she had wailed while gesturing at the fridge for juice. She hasn't stopped speaking since. She is articulate, loves words, and loves to talk with people. As my mother says, RJ could talk to a telephone pole.

Today, RJ will say she thinks better when she moves, and moves she does. She runs, she scooters, she swims, she paces. She also reads. Constantly, like I did when I was her age. (like I do now) Animorphs seem to be her bubble gum reading when she just needs words. She will and does read everything though. I have no doubt that any book in this house would be readable for her even if her comprehension of it may not be optimal. That is a problem when you read above life experience.

Personality wise, RJ is the kindest, gentlest, most thoughtful child you have ever met. If you want something, need something, she will give it to you. She also has this amazing magnetic like personality. She doesn't win people over with her looks, though she is gorgeous. She wins them over with bubbly-ness and kindness and I don't know. She also has a strange combination of wisdom, things she has picked up and is on the edge of understanding, and total flakiness. The wisdom, the things she doesn't quite know and her sensitive nature weigh heavily on her. The flakey isn't because of puberty as her father claims. It is instead because she just is thinking so darn much that details escape her. Or it wasn't interesting enough to get pressed in her head. It is the beautiful absent-mindedness of the truly brilliant, frustrating but at the same time incredibly comforting. I sometimes think that the solidness of her body is natures way of keeping her from floating away. Her personality and her thoughts are that ethereal.

She is 10 but she is my baby. The special one, sandwiched in between children. She is the one who reminds me of me and yet is so different from me. She is the one who sings back to me. Anything. Anywhere.

I am so proud of her, of the person she is, the person she wants to be.


Lee said...

I really enjoy the kid birthday thoughts TW...

Anonymous said...

Really nice thought TW, I enjoyed them too.

P.S. I think RJ is my favorite as well ;o)


Emsxiety said...

I enjoy reading your thoughts on you children on their birthdays. It was beautiful.

Shelly said...

I read this earlier but coming back for the comments, it is terrible sad and terrible happy at the same time when they keep getting older ;). I love your posts about the kids.