Lucy, today you are eight years and one month old. Why have I waited a month to write this birthday note? Because on your birthday a month ago you were sick, we had an ice storm, and we had to cancel the theater outing I had carefully planned months in advance. You were angry. You were angry at the weather, at me (for having you in January), and the germs that made you sick. Mainly, you were angry at me. At eight, you are starting to show flashes of the teenager you will be someday, and it scares me a little. Yet, sometimes, when your face is at rest I can still see traces of the round-cheeked baby you once were.
Everybody who meets you remarks that you are stunningly beautiful. You remain, so far, completely doubtful of this fact. Your very dark hair is still curly, your skin is fair, and you have freckles like Daddy but you look so much like I did as a child. Everyone who gets to know you learns that you are incredibly loyal and kind. You are empathetic to a fault. You worry about the feelings of those you know, as well as strangers. When I complain of having had a bad or exhausting day, you perch on the back of the couch behind me and rub my neck and scratch my head. You can sniff out injustices in the world and in your own home, and you are not afraid to stage a protest whenever necessary. I am so proud of that instinct, and hope you continue to be bold enough to speak out when something is not right.
You remain your sister’s everything. She looks up to you, follows you around, wants to do everything you do, the same exact way. She demands your attention, and sometimes goes to extremes to get it (she likes to use her teeth as attention-getting tools). When she was in the hospital after her kidney transplant, she did not smile for days. The first time she saw your face and heard your voice on Skype, she smiled. Anybody who knows Daphne, knows you by extension because she talks about you nonstop. With great power comes great responsibility, and you do not shy away from it. You are a kind, patient, affectionate older sister. You put up with so much crap from her, I don’t know how you do it. You instinctively know to protect her when she needs it, and to push her into the world when it’s safe. She is so, so lucky to have you.
You continue to love learning, and this year you have become an avid reader. I enjoy reading with you and to you, but nothing beats listening to you read out loud. For the record, you hate it and always start out whispering. A few paragraphs in, your voice comes out and it is magnificent. You continue to enjoy dance and all kinds of music. You love arts & crafts. You do not, at this point, enjoy sports (I apologize for the unathletic gene you definitely got from me). I hope you know that even if you shy away from organized sports, you can still love moving and keeping your body strong and healthy. I had a chance to stay home with you guys for a couple of months when I wasn’t working, and every time I picked you up at school you had so many stories to tell, fresh from the day in your busy mind . It’s amazing to hear the details of your day.
My beautiful, sweet, Lucy-Loo, life has been hard for you sometimes. Having a sister who has been so sick, parents who can be very stressed, changes, more changes. You have proven yourself a resilient child who holds no grudges, and we continue to love seeing you grow up. I love you the mostest.