You’re a sixth grader now and everything has changed

My little young lady.

Holy cow.

Noelle had warned us that there would be a sudden shift in your personality and maturity when you started sixth grade, and wow was she right. First of all, you love middle school. You mostly tolerate/kinda-maybe-on-a-good-day-like your classes, but so far you’re having a great time being a sixth grader. You walk to school with a gaggle of girls, LOVE the school lunches (Thank you Michelle Obama), and no longer seem sad or depressed. We’re fighting less as a family. You’re hyperbole has gotten particularly hyperbolic, which is hilarious. You’re funnier, easier, still struggling with chores, but wow. I can’t get over the sudden difference. We’ll see whether it lasts.

Ellie was pretty cool on your first day and you were surprised. The two of you had grown apart during the end of 5th grade and barely saw each other all summer (if at all…I can’t remember,) so the fact that she was suddenly “in” again was a surprise.  But alas, her behavior changed back to difficult on day 2, and it seems she’s becoming more of a frenemy. You had turned your focus to your new best friend/old friend Maya over the summer, so you’re fine letting this friendship go. But since you all walk to school together every day and Ellie has no other friends, I do worry about where this is headed. You came home the other day and announced that “Ellie is out of the group,” because she let you all buy her things at Starbucks for a few days but then refused to pay when it was her turn.

Oh, Starbucks is huge right now. And the Dollar Store.

I’m a little on edge letting you walk all over Evanston, and it is really taking some getting used to, but you LOVE the freedom and that’s something I’m super happy to see. I was getting worried about you this past summer. I think next summer we may need to go to some extraordinary measures to make sure you don’t get stuck in the house too much with your parents. ‘Cause you’re getting to an age where that’s not doing you any favors.

 

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Happy 11th Birthday, Ari!

It’s going to be a weird year, in no small part because I still have this abdominal drain in me from my intestinal tear/abscess/appendix thing and that has definitely impacted our ability to make effective birthday plans.

Last night we took you out for hibachi. A man squirted sake into my mouth and we ate like Japanese royalty in front of a hot grill. This was your idea, and I LIKED IT.

We’ll have another family-only party and then later, probably in late April or May, you’ll have a friends party at Sky High which will include a silly string fight and frozen yogurt. [Update:  we had to change it to early June because you got an ear infection on the day of your party!]

With the exception of one cranky afternoon with Mom, you’ve been pretty cool about the impact on your birthday. Of course.

Christmas 2017 … First cellphone!

cellpics-37It was our first Christmas in a long time where we didn’t have to leave the house. We didn’t drive to visit papa (at his home or at the hospital like two years ago.) We woke, we did stockings, we ate, we did gifts…mom and I quibbled over whether all gifts should be passed out before we open them, or whether we should pass, open, pass, open. We agreed to a compromise. You were Switzerland, although you made it clear you kinda agreed with me.

You got Legos out the wazoo and you loved it. Mom and I began secretly texting each other about when we should reveal your big present, which was hiding behind the TV. Being a fan of theatrics, I thought it should come LATE, like way after all the fun had died down in the late afternoon. Mom thought early, before you got too wrapped up in Lego madness. Again, we compromised.

In the late morning we pulled the whole “what’s that behind the TV” trick. You were really excited–even for you–and gave mom a big hug. Then me. When I complained.

Later that day we left for Chinese food, waited way too long for a table and then the food was only so-so. We decided we’d never eat there again. I partly wrote this down in the hopes that I’d remember.

This was Christmas 2016. Your first Christmas without Simon. Our first Christmas with Bella. Our second Christmas where we ate at that same disappointing Chinese food place. And the day you got your first cellphone.

You told me you had a GREAT Christmas.  Mission accomplished.

Milestone: you got your ears pierced!!

Elliimg_5951 got her ears pierced recently, and has been trending ever-so-slightly mainstream in her gendered ways. It’s got you thinking, and pushing some boundaries you had set fr yourself. And after telling us only a few days ago that you wanted to this, got your ears pierced TODAY. I was totally surprised. And even more so than with the whole bra thing, life is like ALL about earrings right now, dude.