Happy THIRTEENTH birthday, Catherine Anna! How is that even possible? You made me a mom, and, in so many ways, we’ve grown up together.
I know you want to take some friends to an escape room and the mall to celebrate, but we obviously can’t do that right now in these social-distancing days. We’re going to make you grilled chicken, baked potatoes, squash and zucchini, and chocolate cake tonight. And we’ll keep on celebrating your precious life.
You finish seventh grade in two days. It’s been a great school year that got interrupted when we started non-traditional instruction days almost two months ago. But you’ve thrived anyway. You’ve learned alongside your school friends on Google Hangouts and Google Classroom. You’ve loved having some expanded access to technology at home and keep up with your friends that way.
You bravely started playing basketball this past winter. We pushed you a tiny bit to play on the school team when you expressed interest, but that’s all it took for you to go all in. You were part of your school’s first-ever middle school girls’ basketball team, which won some games and got beat by 30 in other games. I am incredibly proud of how you tried something new, got out on that court in front of a crowd, and had a great attitude regardless of the score. You improved with each practice and game, but, most importantly, I saw you belong on a team and find some common ground with your brother. I love watching you love something, and seeing that overflow into other parts of your life. You create art with basketballs on it. The dynamic in your small middle school class shifted as several of you and your friends bonded over your new sport love.
You’re an awesome big sister. You help mother Ben and Rachel — even when they don’t like it. I trust you to do what you say you’re going to do. You care about our family and how everyone fits together. You’re fun to play board games with, even if you regularly beat me in Splendor. With all this time at home lately, I’ve enjoyed watching musical reality shows with you. We’re making our way through The Voice, Songland, and The Masked Singer. Of course, I love watching and talking Survivor with you too.
Your faith is quiet but steady. You’re a reliable daughter, sister, and friend. You have lots of ideas — and most don’t revolve around keeping your room organized! But you are quick to help me make dinner or ask what you can do to help. I don’t understand your love of Crocs, scrunchies, or distressed jeans, but I’m obviously not as cool as you.
I love who you are, Cate. You’re easy to parent and a joy to be around. Just don’t be so hard on yourself.
Look back on Cate’s life through other letters and birthday posts: One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Baptism. Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve.
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