Since Grace is my oldest, I always break new parenting ground with her. So she is my first to start transforming from my child into her own person before my eyes.
I took her errand shopping this weekend, and I was reminding her how much of a trial it was to take her shopping when she was little....how she would constantly push the mini-cart into my heels every five seconds. I told her that story to contrast how much I genuinely enjoy her company now; how much fun it is to go shopping with her.
Grace is still a girl, of course, and will be for a while, but I am getting more and more glimpses of who she will become. And it's pure pleasure, because anyone who has met Grace knows that she is delightful--friendly, happy, always encouraging, always including. She wants to be a teacher or a social worker when she grows up. It is such a privilege to be her mom, and to watch her becoming my friend. She already teaches me so much about what it means to love others well, because I will wholeheartedly admit that she is better at it than me.
Grace wanted a "whole-class" party this year, which meant I insisted it be held at HOPAC after school, since my living room and my nerves cannot handle 24 fifth graders in party mode.
So Dad planned a "nerf gun" party, which was enthusiastically adored by all who attended. Kids regularly tell us, "That was the most fun birthday party I've ever been to!" after one of Gil's parties. This one might have been the most epic of them all.