Flora: The Growing Year

Dear Flora,

You are a Rock Star this year. I guess this is what developing maturity looks like.

You are handling sixth grade with grace and determination. You have become a straight-A student. Your teachers adore you. Your soccer coaches talked about how far you had come in the two years they have been coaching you. (I agree, and I thought so too, but I also am so ridiculously biased in your favor.)

You may be a little hard on yourself. You had struggles last year regarding organization and grades, and are clearly determined to do better. You are smart and talented enough to do better.

And you are doing better. One of your teachers actually suggested I let you know it was okay to chill out a little bit.

You are also showing a depth of emotional maturity that is reassuring. Something happened earlier this school year that threatened to throw you for a loop. And you came to Dad and me with it. I won’t tell the story — it’s not mine to tell — but I was so proud. I was proud for two reasons: 1. That you handled it exactly the correct way, setting your boundaries, and keeping them. Many adults don’t know how to do that. 2. That you trusted your father and me enough to come to us, tell us what happened, and believe us when we said you did the right thing.

You are still delightfully goofy. As a matter of fact, you are flat out funny. You have a wonderful sense of humor, sharp and observant. You love making people laugh, and you’re quite good at it.

When you aren’t on your tablet, you are drawing. You draw all. the. time. You must not be doing it too much in class, because your grades are excellent and your teachers haven’t mentioned it. You are better now when I ask you not to be on your tablet — you put it aside; you do what I ask. As a matter of fact, you don’t even get on your tablet most days until homework is done and the dishes are put away. Your ability to self-regulate has made me feel relieved.

Budding feminist cartoonist.

You draw comics. You draw animals. You draw people. You go through sketch books like crazy. Every other week, you need a new one. You draw stuff for your friends, but only if you want to. I call your cartoons #FloraToons. Thanks for letting me share them online, especially the one about Jesus walking his dog on water. You draw on the letters you send to your friend.

You adore your brother, and he drives you batty. You and your sister are best friends, except when you are decidedly NOT. You are still daddy’s girl. He even let you help him rack wine this fall, a special vintage he is calling Il Messaggero for his father.

I love you, Flora. I will always love you, and I will always advocate for you and the unique girl you are and amazing woman I know you will be.

Happy birthday, Florabean. I love you with my whole heart.


4 thoughts on “Flora: The Growing Year

  1. Happiest of Birthdays to a fantastic young woman!! It is a privilege to know you, Flora. You brighten the world just by being you. I hope your day is magnificent!

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