10? Can you really have been earth-side for a whole decade now? This year has been a tricky one for you, and I can see you are struggling to emerge from your little kid chrysalis. It's a hard place to be, in a tween body but feeling still so new and young inside. I won't trap you in childhood, but I treasure your time here and honor the difficulty of letting go. "I'm too big for that ride now, and I feel sad." "I'm jealous that this bounce house says for ages 5 and under." "Why can't I have toys at Mass anymore?" Most of us jump at the chance to grow older and do more, but you are a noticer, and you have keenly observed that there is so much goodness in childhood, and you aren't in a hurry to get through it. I'm really ok with that, and you can Peter Pan your way through your teen years if you want, though I doubt you'll give me that courtesy.
As you grow, it becomes more evident that your early sensitivities are heightening instead of fading. You feel more, see more, hear more, taste more, smell more...you're a gosh darn superhero. You're made of really special stuff, and I am never going to take the advice to toughen you up. I know your ability to feel things uniquely brings intense empathy to a world that needs it more than ever. Your tenderness and gentleness is powerful and brave. You share adult-level emotional insights while at the same time pogo-sticking and blowing gum bubbles.
You're one of the most amazing people I know, and I'm so lucky to be on this ride with you.
*Merp and Meow,