Hello sweet girl, and happy 99 months – your last 2-digit month! I just gave you a big hug and sent you upstairs where your Daddy is waiting to tuck you in. We take turns each night, and while I enjoy my turn, I also love sitting downstairs, listening to your big belly laughs that you reserve just for your Daddy. Or listening to him serenade you with his guitar while you get ready for bed. We’re pretty lucky girls to have him, aren’t we?
It’s a wonderfully chilly night and finally feeling like fall. We began the season by doing one of our favorite things – heading to Disney World. We just have such a great time when we’re there, and you had a 4-day weekend in September that seemed like a perfect time to go.
We spent 2 days in Magic Kingdom, including a special Halloween-themed night when we all got to dress up. We were a mismatched crew but had lots of fun as Pocahontas, Wonder Woman and an X-Wing pilot on vacation.
Each Disney trip proves to be a bit different, with various markers to remind me that you’re growing up. Our first visit when you were 4 was all about princesses and there were NO roller coasters involved.
You still enjoyed seeing and meeting the characters this time, but your favorite memories from this trip are the two roller coasters we convinced you to ride.
Your Daddy was particularly thrilled that you finally agreed to ride the Haunted Mansion. Verdict = you loved it.
On previous Disney trips, you’ve enjoyed the street dance parties and were very eager to dance with all the Disney characters. On this trip, when we found a dance party we thought for sure you’d have a blast. But instead you hung back, saying you felt shy and embarrassed.
“What if I dance with you?” I offered.
A look of horror crossed your face, and you said, “NO! That would be even more embarrassing!”
Sigh. So it begins.
But thankfully you’ve not become too self conscious to dance as long as you’re in the right company. Just a day after we returned from Disney, we were at a neighborhood concert and the musicians asked for dancers. You happily grabbed your buddy Lola, and the two of you danced away in front of the stage. Apparently, it’s just uncool to dance with strangers or your parents. Got it.
Stage fright will only be a major liability in one of the career paths you’ve discussed of late. Your current career aspirations vacillate among these three: marine biologist, robotics engineer, or actress.
The other day we were riding in the car and I had given you control of our music, letting you pic songs to play from my phone. You love songs from Broadway musicals, and this time chose “Little Fall of Rain,” from Les Miserables, the terribly sad song in which one of the characters dies.
As the first notes played, you said with a conciliatory tone, “Mom, I know this song depresses you. But if I am going to be an actress I need to practice different emotions.”
And you sang your heart out in the backseat of the car. When the song ended, you announced, “Wow. I think I did that one really well.”
Oh to have the confidence of an 8 year old!
You also had a boost of confidence a couple of weekends ago when we accompanied Nana and some friends to nearby Daufuskie Island. We’d never been before and I’ve been wanting to go, and our friends the Suttons proved to be great tour guides. We rented a golf cart and tooled around the lovely island, stopping all along the way to explore.
After one of these stops, you were the first back to the golf cart and slyly slid behind the steering wheel. You kept waiting for one of us to make you move, but Billy had been driving and he just hopped into the passenger seat next to you.
“You’re going to let me drive??” you asked, incredulously. And he did.
Oh boy, did you have fun driving the golf cart around the island. Thankfully, Billy could still reach the pedals and the steering wheel in case you needed assistance, which you did at one point. The cart began to veer off the road and I looked up in time to see both your hands fly off the wheel. “There’s a bee!” you explained. Fortunately, Billy grabbed the wheel and the bug flew away. And honestly, I probably would’ve done the same thing. You get that from your mama.
Oh sweets, I love you so much, even if you’d be horrified to dance with me at Disney World. That’s part of growing up, and I’m just happy that you are still willing scoot next to me on the couch at the end of the day and rest your head on my shoulder. I hope you’ll never be too cool for that. I love you so much.