Saturday, August 26, 2023

Letter to Bobbin - ten years old

Happy Double Digits, Bobbin! You are TEN. A decade. 3,652 days old.

Smalls, I can't begin to describe what an amazing human you are. Your dry sense of humour cracks me up all the time, and it is very hard to keep a straight face if you've done something you weren't meant to and you come out with an on point, one line zinger. You balance caring, compassion, sass and fierceness. You are strong mentally and physically, and I often wonder how I got so lucky to have this badass, bird-flipping firecracker in my life.

You took up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu this year on top of your usual Mixed Martial Arts, and you've really taken to it, learning all these new moves. You entered your first BJJ competition last weekend. I wasn't sure what the look on your face was because it seemed to me you were bored or didn't want to be there. Turns out, that was your game face, trying to psych out the other competitors into thinking you weren't going to try, because the second the match started you were ON. I told Dad about it and he said "Oh yeah, didn't you hear what she said as she walked on? No mercy".

You won each of your three matches by submission in the 7-10yo mixed category - and each with an arm-bar, your absolute fave to bring in when you see the opportunity. You were racking up points, and I won't lie, I didn't understand them very well. No one managed to score any points against you, and you won your first round in 23 seconds - which freaked me out because I thought it ended because you'd accidentally hurt your opponent. Nope. She was fine. You managed to see that arm bar opening early and she couldn't move, so she tapped out. You were thrilled to get the gold medal and stand on the podium.

Another martial arts thing you started is Leadership. You have been hanging out to be old enough to join! You are learning how to be an instructor and each week you are the assistant in the Ninja Ru program for three and four year olds. You were nervous to begin with, though you're really starting to get the hang of it now. Hearing you use strengths based language and using modelling and praise of attitude and effort to get these tiny tots to follow along shows such maturity and spirit. 

You started cello this year! We were so excited to hear you got accepted into the music program as the rest of us all play an instrument - but you're our first string instrument (I don't really count the one year I played cello because I was terrible at it). It was hard to get you to not play when you didn't know how to adjust the bow properly, and a string did manage to get snapped as you 'discovered' how to tune it. It just shows how eager you are to do everything. When you're focused, it's like a laser, and you can be there forever. You have put in SO much effort and practice a lot, producing a really lovely tone. You even got an A on your first report card! A testament to all your efforts.

A big hair cut was a change of pace for you. It started with wanting a super blunt fringe which you were so happy about, and then, after years of saying you wanted hair as long as possible and it getting all the way down to your hips, you wanted it above your shoulders. And you wanted it done NOW. You had to be patient for a few days before we could get there, but when we did you sat there, told the lady how short you wanted it, and closed your eyes to stop the few tears that were forming from rolling down your cheeks. She cut it below your shoulders to start, you opened your eyes, smiled, and said "shorter". You LOVE it. And you've asked to go shorter still - which is tricky because it still needs to be out of the way for sport, so we're looking at clips and different styles so you can get it cut shorter soon. The short hair accentuated your changing face, and you look all grown up all of a sudden. You're not a little kid anymore, babes.

The intuitiveness and compassion you have towards others is astounding. You wrote me a vision board on neon pink, heart shaped post it notes because you thought you could be a good mental health worker. You would be, actually. You accept everyone for who they are and strive to understand the people around you. You invited me into your office (the play room) and said you'd put lots of thought into this and I should quit my job because it was making me stressed. It also said I should eat more chocolate. And give you chocolate. So I've done all three. Because you are right. Life has been really hard for us as a family these past two years, and you helped me realise I wasn't prioritizing us. 

We celebrated my new found freedom (unemployment?) and took time to reconnect by staying at a hotel overnight - a girls mini staycay! I got you GOOD! You had NO IDEA. I took you around part of the city and showed you where Dad and I got married, and said "let's go inside and see if we can find the things from my wedding photos". You were a bit nervous, thinking we were breaking the rules... but you listened intently and recreated a photo of Dad at the hotel. I'd given you a special code to crack that would leave you with a three digit number and told you to find the door with that number. You found it, and whaddyaknow the key unlocked the door. We went inside and you said maybe we could stay for a few hours and relax? I invited you to look around; you saw the massive bath and said "I'm totally getting in there!" then you ran and jumped on the bed. When you looked in the cupboard and found your suitcase that I'd dropped off earlier, your face was priceless. So THAT'S where your missing pink bag went! Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret from you and squirrel away your belongings without you noticing? It was impossible! I had to lie to your face saying maybe you'd put it in the dress up box. We had a gorgeous time galivanting around the city, dressing in pink to see The Barbie Movie, meeting a friend for coffee, having the biggest bubble bath around, ordering room service, staying up late, and meeting up with Nanna and Pop for lunch. It was brilliant making memories with you, Babycakes, and I loved reconnecting with you.

You are still utterly obsessed with art and will happily spend hours hyperfixated on all things crafty. Whether it's creating polymer earrings, colouring in, painting, hydrodipping, digital art on procreate, or sculpting with clay, you want to be doing it at all times. You have filmed yourself, pretending to be a TV presenter or YouTuber, giving step by step instructions for others to follow. You get so into it you even forget to eat sometimes.

You have dealt with some grief these past twelve months with the deaths of two great grandparents with trips to Albany for their funerals, plus the death of my friend, who you'd met a few times on picnics and shopping trips. Each time you have written a beautiful goodbye letter for them saying you loved them and thanking them for being in your life. It has been beautiful and heartbreaking to watch you process grief for people that you weren't particularly close to, but meant something to you. Hearing you ask questions about death and life, meaning and connection, is astounding. I remember saying you were a brand new soul when you were little because you never stopped, you wanted to know everything and asked so many interesting questions. It seems like you're trying to learn the secrets of the universe - I think I'm the wrong person to ask.

Upside down or rolling around continues to be your default mode. You have so much energy and unless you're in art mode (or binge watching the same TV series over and over again on screen day mode), you never sit still. Nanna calls you a fart in a bottle. 

It's not been the best year for you at school, and you've been extremely bored, coming home covered in texta and pen up and down your legs. You tell me you do it there because it's mostly hidden and you don't get in trouble that way. That spicy brain of yours needs stimulating and if you aren't interested you just drift off into your own world. It frustrates you a lot, and you sometimes say your brain is broken. I wish you could see how brilliant it actually is. You've developed a great number of skills and techniques to help all by yourself and it really impressed me. You will turn anything into a fidget, and turn everything into art to keep your brain focused. You've come up with all these systems and structures to help with the areas you struggle in, and I'm just amazed. The things you do like about school this year are cello and art (and now your new classroom teacher that you've had for a week). You come home talking about art class and how much you love it, how you wish it was every day, and how great your teacher is - she thinks you're pretty special, too. I wouldn't be surprised if you followed in her footsteps and combined your love of art and teaching.

Pain is a major issue for you, and we're working with your specialist to find the right balance of medication and activity for you. It's tricky because you are SO competitive and sporty, but your body falls apart and you end up paying for it. We're working on listening to your body and stopping before it gets too bad... and it's a work in progress. You won the interschool throwing competition last year after breaking the school record, and this year you've been really disappointed in yourself for not being able to throw as far due to your shoulder subluxing. Your 'wings' pop out on demand, but also sometimes when they're not meant to, and combined with a default mode of 'push as hard as you can' this means trouble. We'll continue to work on it together, Babycakes. You went on an amazing camp for kids with chronic pain - away for seven days and loved it all with not a hint of homesickness. You made some great friends who get what it's like to have a body that doesn't always do what you want it to do.

You are ten going on sixteen, my strong, determined, tenacious, fierce one. You're determined to start your dog walking business this year (because I've been saying no for two years now), and I have visions of you spending all the money on Squishmallows and slime. It's a tricky time with a teenage sibling, and your own world expanding into tween-hood and discovering who you are. You still absolutely must do our special kiss when we're separating (I kiss your left palm then right palm, you kiss my left palm then right palm, we rub noses, kiss and cuddle), and I can see you're starting to not want to do it in front of others, feeling it is too baby-ish. But I know you'll get through these hard years of change ahead and focus on the connection and joy around you. As you say, you've got this, girlfraaaand.

I love you.

Mum x

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are blogger crack.
Comments are taken through Disqus. If you don't see that here then please try another browser or device. Thanks x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...