Monday, December 19, 2011

It's our anniversary, Chi

My baby girl is NINE. There's now no denying that she is really a preteen -- growing up (and into herself) before my eyes.

I think every mom views this change in a series of spurts, but in the cob webs of recollection, it's remembered as a "blink of an eye" transformation. My baby isn't one...

She's her own person now. She functions within her own carefully guarded world independently and I am but a bystander gawking at her life. Is this what it means to live vicariously throught a child? I selfishly celebrate her triumphs, and there have been many this past year.

Ever desiring to be an artist, Chi has located her long since discarded sketchbooks. When thrown a curveball at school [and I admit that I don't follow baseball, so this metaphor...] she held her bat at ready and hit a homerun. "I have to apply for art club this year," she told me. And she presented a quickly sketched 'application portfolio' self portrait. Though discouraged when I bluntly told her she needed a stronger effort on her piece, she turned out a masterpiece. We actually worked side by side using a photo of her as a model for the portrait. And, as I'd already known, she realized she was a sight artist. She's pursued her art with more fervour now than ever before. She's one of only twenty selected for the now-exclusive art club.

She also managed to earn herself a brick at our elementary school - - making the legacy of us permanent (because my own mark with stylizing the mascot in a yearbook cover contest has long since faded). And though she has struggled with the intensified expectations and work load of fourth grade study, she is an A-B Honor Roll Student. My one regret here is that her teacher fears me (she actually told me this!) as the evil demanding mother who e-mailed her that "a C is average and she will not be." Yes, I set the standards high, and Chi has met them.

In Tae Kwon Do - a sport she has firmly disliked since month three of our 24-month contract - she is ready to test for her blue tip. She's already a green belt and was only expected to make it to blue by the time our contract expires in July. I'm impressed, because the rigor and demand of her Master is beyond that the average adult would tolerate and she accepts his heavily-accented torment with a strength I envy.

Frankly, I think my baby girl is amazing. She continues to thrive in every situation. She is a charming young lady with a sensitive heart and an empathy towards others that I find rare. If ever I wonder what God's plan is, I know He's got a good one. How else would He have matched me to her just when I needed her most? You see, she is my strength and my comfort.

It's our anniversary as a family - - her ninth birthday and my celebration of the greatest gift given to me.

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