Year seven was a challenging for both of us. Raising Addie has never been dull, given the fact that she's always been about 10 years ahead of herself. She argues, yells, and whines when she doesn't get her way... but she says "I love you" more often. I can still occasionally hug and kiss her in public, although not when dropping her off at school anymore.
Addie has started to ask/tell me not to do certain things in public so I don't embarrass her, but to my embarrassment still has very public moments of "Mommyitis". She is a study in contradictions because while she works hard to fit in with older kids and adults, she is just as ready to revert back to a young child wanting to sit in Mom's lap at the restaurant. I love those moments so much more now then I used to because I realize they will probably completely disappear very soon.
I about fell on the ground laughing when the photographer took the picture to the left, telling me "she seems so sweet and innocent". Addie's quick wit and ability to use sarcasm often has everyone around her in stitches, but can just as quickly go the other direction. She is still learning what the boundaries between hilarious and in heaps of trouble are. She has a mind of her own, and while we don't always agree, I continue to be proud of the fact that she is willing and able to express herself and stand behind her opinions/ feelings/ wants. As a parent it is very difficult to raise - let's be honest here - a stubborn child; but I would rather she continues to hold her own, then to have her bending to the whims of others.
One thing she has a firm grasp on is compassion for others. The other day we were discussing what she wanted for her birthday, and she told me that if she received the same thing from 2 people it was OK because then she could give one of the gifts to her "sister" Heidi. When I offered that we could return the duplicate item and buy something else, she declined saying that Heidi would probably really like the gift instead. What else is there to say after that?
Addie was in the second grade this past year. It was the first year that she received real grades (versus the S/E "grades"), which proved to be a frustration to both of us. Reversing numbers and letters continues to be a stumbling block for her, although the school keeps telling us there is nothing to worry about. By the end of the year she was so tired from battling that she pretty much gave up. We have spent this summer working with Aunt Jan and Stella, which will hopefully make third grade much less difficult.
She learned how to dive, removed the training wheels from her bike, and tried-out for and made a Select soccer team. She is pretty much never without her soccer ball, and I have all but given up trying to stop her from juggling and kicking the ball in the house. She also enjoys running (obviously NOT my child!), raquetball, and tennis. Basically if it is a sport, she's happy to be participating.
Music and theater continue to also be a big part of Addie's life. We went to see The Wizard of Oz, Wicked, Mama Mia, Cirque Jungle Dreams, and had tickets for Grease (Addie was extremely sick so we had to skip it) at the Aronoff Center. We love our "nights on the town", dressing up and starting with dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery on Fountain Square followed by a night at the theater! She is also never without her iPod. Santa delivered a purple Nano this year, and she listens to music consistently enough that I have to recharge the thing at least every other day. The Wicked soundtrack is still her favorite, but Hannah Montana, the Jonas Brothers, and the High School Musical soundtracks are a close second. She continues to listen to the local country music radio station when she goes to bed, hopefully that counteracts the effects of the Disney Channel music somewhat!
I love you so much! I am proud of everything you do, and can't wait to see all that you will accomplish in the next year (and beyond!) You are a beautiful girl - both inside and out. I am so happy to be your mom!