Helen is 8 years old. She's closing in on double digits and remains a constant light in my life. Yes, she can cop an attitude with the best teens. She sighs. She rolls her eyes. She curls her upper lip toward the heavens. But still, she is my little girl who can rock a Taylor Swift song like nobody's business and always seems to have time to put on a quick puppet show if there's an audience.
She has taken to soccer with a vengeance and is proud to be among the fast runners in her after school run club. She dove into after school programming choosing a different activity for every day, save one, which is when she has violin lessons. I asked her to participate in science club, led by a wonderful teacher, and after the first week she was totally hooked, letting me know that if Connor could sign up - he should! (His turn will come next session, when the teacher operates a class for the older students.) She is even trying her hand at guitar, though I'm somewhat skeptical anything can be done with a once a week lesson and almost no follow-up at home - but maybe?
Although she tells me she is shy, she easily commands a room when she wants to. Occasionally, I have seen her walking in the recent past, but mostly she still skips wherever she goes. Happiness just seems to follow her. When there is tension near her, she will do anything to try and remind everyone that life is good, trying to get as much negative energy to leave the room as possible.
Fall is definitely Helen's season, with it's warm rains, colorful leaves, and opportunities to run around without being hot.
She is every bit the consumer of words that Connor is, so now we have two children to constantly remind to get their real-life things done and stop reading that book! (Which of course, feels very odd, but I'm pretty sure my kids would both skip meals and basic self care if it meant they could read more.)
Helen loves everyone, and parents regularly tell me what how well she treats everyone. It makes me smile every time.
Helen - I can see already that you and I will knock heads more than a few times in the coming years. So I'm just going to hold onto all these good times now, and put my head down and do my best with whatever is coming my ways.