Jenna doesn't get nearly as much 'blog time' as she should. It's not because I love her less, or because she's an uninteresting child--it's because every time Jenna talks, it's about the same thing: Cheetahs. I mean, she DOES throw other stuff in there; namely, Harry Potter. And that's really it. Cheetahs and Harry Potter. Not a whole lot of fodder for blog posting, you know? BUT...this post IS about my Jenna because on September 30th, my girl turned TEN.
Ten. A decade old. Double digits.
At night, before I go to bed, I tiptoe into your room and kiss your sweet face. Okay, I'm lying. Every night, I DO go into your room, but the scenario isn't as sweet. It's usually more like this: Open your door (that we've closed so Tito doesn't knock all your crap over or bite your feet while you're sleeping) and cringe because when I DO open it, it makes this horribly screechy sound; manuever my way slowly to your bed, trying not to step on 1) your pile of dirty clothes that you wait to wash until you're out of clean panties 2) your "vet kit" that somehow always makes it to the middle of the walkway 3) a random cheetah with gauze wrapped around it's lame paw and 4) other random piles of stuff; I finally reach the proper side of your bed, then I pat around where your head should be (usually ending up with my finger in your ear or mouth); find your cheek, then (here's where the sweet part is) lean over and give you kisses. And while i'm smooching your soft cheek, I take in a deep breath--because even at 10 years old, you still smell like a little baby. When that smell is gone, i will CRY. Do you hear me? CRY. So you better always smell like a baby.
Anyways, you are too pretty, and SMM and I both hate it. We love it when you make ugly faces, and encourage you to do it more often. Especially in front of boys. We like it even more when you make stupid sounds and make yourself have buck teeth. Continue to do that. Again--particularly when there are boys around. You also are growing legs and a waist and other crap that we don't like. Stop it now. You are gorgeous. You are one of those girls that will never need makeup. Green, green eyes and black eyelashes--so dark, it looks like you're wearing eyeliner. Dammit.
You are just as smart as you are beautiful. Of course, I've always known this, but now I have to hear it from your teachers. In emails, and phone calls, and conferences. And let me tell you, when i go to a parent/teacher conference, and the teachers have your work pulled aside because they were SHARING IT WITH OTHER TEACHERS, I just want to burst with pride. When I hear, "I had to share this because i have NEVER seen a fourth grader write like this!" I just want to cry. When I see your Science/Math teacher throw up his hands and say, "Brilliant. Her mind is BRILLIANT. The way she THINKS is awesome..." I just want to cry. They said these things about YOU, baby. As a writer, I'm thrilled beyond words that you share that with me--but lets be honest, I'm a complete dumbass when it comes to math and science. You're just awesomeness in kid form. Out of all those things though, the best compliment was, "The way she THINKS is awesome." That's what I love about you. Your crazy quirkiness--the way you think WAY outside the box--is amazing. I am so entirely proud of you. To the very, very core of my soul.
One of the things that I am most proud of you for, however, is your kindness. You have SO many "best friends." Of course, we all know that Halle is your "BFFLAA" (as you say), but every other child in your class is also classified as your "best friend." You don't understand how girls can only have ONE best friend, and you don't get the concept of being jealous when one friend plays with another. This is something that I will be forever thankful for. A lot of it has to do with the little 'spectrum' that you fall into, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that you simply don't see why you have to choose one person over another. This will get you FAR in life, pumpshkin. Never EVER just choose one friend. Surround yourself with people you love, and those who love you. And always remember: If a person continually makes you feel bad about yourself, then they're not your friend. Friends lift you up, they don't drag you down. Can I get an Amen?!
You are still playing piano, and playing quite well. Your instructor goes on and on about how you practice so well. I don't have the heart to tell her that you never practice. You're just good. You also started cheering this year! I have to be honest here, kid--we were scared about this. I mean, for the best part of the last 3 years, you've been growing into these limbs and generally walk about looking like a baby giraffe. However, you are doing SO WELL!! You love cheering for your Redskins, and you have such a fabulous little cheer squad. And, I got to make you a mum for Spirit Day--tee hee!
For all that is positively great about you, you are also a little shit. Oh yes, you are. You've reached a point where you like to argue about EVERYTHING. So, in order to save ourselves time, we've just decided that YOU can make all the decisions. We've noticed that when we say, "Fine, just do whatever you want," you end up doing what we want you to do anyways. Not sure if you realize we're right, or you're just doing it because you feel guilty--either way, BOO YAP! (Which is one of your favorite things to say. We don't have the heart to tell you that it's 'boo yah!' It's funny to laugh at you.)
My Jenna, I SO love you.