Saturday, February 23, 2019

To The One Who Is Part Pterodactyl

Dear Freckles,

Your birthday festivus kicked off in the wee hours of the morning, just after midnight at your favorite place in the whole wide world - BINGO! I kid, I kid. I know that you absolutely hate working bingo, but know that it's a necessary evil for band trips. It is what it is, right?

As of the second the clock ticked past 12, you officially became sixteen years old. How is that even possible?


As I write this, you are snuggled up on the couch with your baby brother, playing with the Spider-Man walkie talkies that he made me buy for you so that he could share them. I know it is absolutely what you have always dreamt about owning, right? Hey. He's 4. And in his universe, the sun rises and sets on all of his older siblings.

Then again, you are the one who gave the kid a bit of an ego problem by singing him that song about being handsome. He truly does randomly tell strangers that his big sis tells him he is very handsome. 


I guess you aren't wrong. I suppose.

So, you are another year older. This one is a big one, and will mean that at some point this year, you'll start driving. I have high hopes that you'll be better at parking than your big brother is, and that I will consequently hear fewer complaints from the next younger sibling in line.



You've done so much this year that sometimes it is hard to believe that you're still only a teenager.

You ended up joining the soccer team last year right around this time, and I know that the situation this year isn't anywhere near ideal, but maybe...just maybe...you'll find your way out on that field again. Seeing you fall back in love with the sport last year was actually pretty goddamn amazing to watch. 


And maybe it works and maybe it doesn't, but you know I will support you either way. Besides which, your schedule isn't one with a whole lot of blank spaces since you are working and playing in the pit orchestra for the upcoming theater production at school. 

ALL THE INSTRUMENTS.

Seriously. You got another ukelele for Christmas, which you absolutely adore. You've even started teaching other kids how to play ukelele, which is pretty amazing. 


And then there is the matter of the bassoon. One of these days, we will actually have reeds for it, but until then just keep studying fingering charts and waiting. Tick tock.


You joined a county-wide advocacy group where you are doing super small and inconsequential things like helping draft curriculum materials for public schools and teaching students about their legal rights in school. NBD.

I said a few years ago that you were going to change the world someday, but the crazy thing is that you're already doing it. And you're only 16.



You're doing it to make this society a better place for everyone. For you, for your friends, for your family, for everyone. Always slaying those dragons even when you're fighting with your own at the same time.

That's being brave, by the way. It isn't about not being scared. It's about doing all the things even when you are scared. It's about being afraid of what could go wrong and being nervous about whether people are watching you and telling that little voice in your head to shut up for a second because you're doing it anyway.



It has been a year of getting some questions answered, which inevitably just led to you asking more questions, but at the end of it all, the conclusion was actually pretty simple and straightforward even if it might not have ever felt that way on your end.

You are who you have always been, you are who you were always meant to be.

You are. Even if that means that you might be a little bit different than other kids your age, different is never going to be a bad thing. Your uniqueness, your spirit, your determination...they all make you who you are. And who you are is pretty freaking awesome.


It might even be a superpower. (no capes, though)


You're already working on your siblings, trying to get your Halloween theme pushed to the top of the short list for next year. You started planning out your Comic Con costumes basically the day DCC ended last year.


You started doing commissioned art pieces, and some of them have been so perfect for the intended person that they couldn't have possibly requested something more fitting for that individual. You set up a separate IG account just for your art. A few years ago, you had an entire novel written online before I even knew you'd been doing that too.

You make memes and send them to Dad/Cap/Mr. Clean in the middle of random afternoons.


You make me laugh. You make me so far beyond frustrated at times that I can't even quite put it into words. You make me worry. You make me proud. You make me wonder what you're going to come up with next...because for as long as I've known you, you've been one surprise after another.

You don't just think outside of the box. There is no box.

There never was a box. 

I can't wait to see what you have planned for this year.

I love you, baby girl. Happy birthday. (Pterodactyl scream, flappy wings)

Mom

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