I don’t know how this happened, exactly, but my youngest, my Little Bit, is eleven years old today. I shall tell you about this child.
Little Bit loves the “learning new stuff” part of school and hates the “endless repetition” part of school. So far, she is loving fifth grade.
Her favorite part of school is the math club. She says, “I like to get up early on Wednesday mornings and start my day with an hour of challenging math.” Who wouldn’t?
This is the child who comes home from school, fixes herself a snack, and sits down at the kitchen table to complete her homework, always, with no prodding, nudging, or harassing from yours truly. If you ever get a chance to hire Little Bit, you won’t be sorry.
She was afraid of animals for a long time. A dog running up and jumping on her would evoke a total panic reaction. She even feared my little fluffy bunny. Then, two years ago, we got two kittens. Raising those kitties mostly cured her of her animal-related anxiety, though she is still suspicious of dogs. And she loves the cats with her whole heart and soul. She’s fond of the bunny, too.
A few days ago, Little Bit earned her blue belt in karate. I asked her if she could imagine herself being one of the late-teen black belts at the dojo. She said, “no.” Mostly, she can’t imagine being that old. I think she will make it to black belt if she decides she wants to, but I’m not sure she will make that choice. I’m okay with it either way. I just want her to be strong and confident and know how to defend herself.
Adolescence is coming. I can see it creeping in around the edges. Sometimes I want to stand in front of her and block it, but I know it will get around me. It seeps like mist.
I’m going to go wrap her presents now. Some are little girlish, some suitable for a pre-teen. She’s both right now, and I love her. Happy birthday, Little Bit.