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7 years...just like that

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Seven never looked so old. And sure it has never looked so cute. Oh my Grets, seven whole years.  

I write this as you are at school, on your very last day as a first grader. You love school, you love your teacher, and you love your friends. This year you have come out of your shell, not that you ever had difficulty doing this at home, but at school you were always a little timid. A little shy and nervous to express yourself to our kids and your teacher. You've grown so much this year emotionally. You are still so responsible, so aware and careful of your obligations at school, for homework, papers to be turned in, sweaters to be brought home. 

Every day after school you beg me to stay a little bit so you can play Four Square on the yard. Oh do you take that sport seriously. I watch you play with girls your age and older, and I smile at how sporty you are becoming. You prefer to wear shorts instead of skirts, sneakers versus sandals, and ponytails to barrettes. You come home and practice hand ball with your brothers, and you ask Gunnar to teach you how to catch a football. This makes all of us smile.  

 

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You are honest and truthful. If you did something, you will own up to it, but if you didn't you are very clear about that. You are sensitive and still can be brought to tears if daddy or I raise our voice. Yelling is your kryptonite. It paralyzes you and because of that I work hard not to raise my voice. It's been good for both daddy and I.  

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Daddy is still wrapped around your finger. Each night he puts you to bed, he reads to you from The Little House on the Prairie series, gives you a bedtime snack, sometimes a cup of tea. You prefer daddy to always put you to bed. I get it. He treats you like the only little girl that matters, and I think that's pretty much exactly who you are to him. He's tender and kind with you. I hope you see your dad as I saw mine. A person with the qualities that are important, and one day look to find those qualities in someone you love. 

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You lost your top two teeth this year, for a grand total of 4 teeth. These photos of you with your missing teeth will remain my favorite photos of you of all time. When each of your brothers lost their top teeth, I couldn't make them smile enough, take enough photos, close my eyes enough to take a mental photo of that toothless smile. There's nothing better.  

Reading has become a wonderful skill this year. You read so beautifully and so well, and it makes you proud. It makes you smile that you can read directions and paragraphs, scriptures and lyrics. You listen to music now. I swear you look 16 wearing headphones listening to Taylor Swift on the iPad. I get flashes of you as a teenager. But then I pause in front of your bedroom door and quietly watch you play with your dolls and Barbies. Savoring your child-ness, your playfulness. It's fleeting. Oh I know it's fleeting. And hard as I try, I just can't slow it down.  

When daddy or I read Little House (currently we are on The Long Winter, and boy is that winter long!) you want to know all the details and explanations of words you have never heard of before. The other night I had to act out what a "lean-to" was, and then "snowbank". You want to be fully informed of all things new to you. You say certain words in your own way or accent. No matter how many times your brothers correct you, the donut shop on the corner will forever be "win-chiells". You play games in the car with Sawyer that make me giggle. It goes something like this "you say pep, I say boys" and then you two go back and forth for a few seconds, followed by "you say star, I say bucks" and on and on until we've reached our destination. 

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I have no doubt you are becoming a lovely lady, learning along the way important lessons on kindness, honesty, love, and compassion. We love you Greta and can't wait to see what seven brings.