A quick administrative note. It’s a very busy week here. As I’ve mentioned, this is L.’s final week of pre-school. Thus, I’m trying to cram a bunch of projects into my final (now) 14 or so hours without a kid to get in the way.1 As you would expect, we have a busy holiday weekend on the horizon. And I’m getting out and working for the first time since basketball ended Tuesday night. So posts are more likely to come in the evenings this week.

It was a huge, nay, HUGE weekend for C..

Friday night she crossed the bridge and became a Brownie.2 A very important step in a young girl’s life. Unlike M.’s Daisy Scout troop, who had a private ceremony after school two years ago, C.’s troop shared the stage with eight other Girl Scout troops of various ages. It was long and a little tedious. But I think it was cool for C. and her friends to see older girls who have stuck with scouting all the way through high school.

And I have to say, some of the high school seniors were kind of cute and rocking very nice dresses. Not that I notice these things. My point, though, is these weren’t a bunch of social rejects who had only Girl Scouts to get them through school. They seemed like nice, normal girls. On the way home, C. told me she wanted to keep doing Scouts as long as she could and “get all the badges.” I explained that as she gets older, earning badges requires more work than just going to a fun meeting after school. “I know!” she shouted at me, happily. We’ll see how interested she is in scouting in a few years when sports and socializing take hold of her after school hours.

But that was just an appetizer for Saturday’s main course, her eighth birthday. She refused to mess around. As soon as Claire’s was open, she insisted on heading that way to get her ears pierced. She chose emerald earrings to match the birthstone necklace my step-dad had given her on Friday. And she proudly wore both when we met them for lunch afterward.

It wasn’t the prettiest day ever, but she got to play with her buddy next door in the afternoon.

After a quick dinner, she finally got to open her presents. Another Lego Friend set for the collection and a birthday Barbie. She was pleased. Then the neighbors joined us at a local bowling alley where we turned the five girls loose for a couple hours while the adults sat and watched and drank. The girls had a good time, and made the other folks bowling around them laugh with their enthusiasm. Between games the girls scarfed down cupcakes and C. got a bag of Justice goodies from her friends.

It was a simple, yet fun, birthday.

(Quick aside: L. owned the lanes Saturday. Despite being five years younger than the oldest girl, she had the best score in both games, bowling in the 80s both times.3 She enjoyed besting her sisters and their friends. Oh, and she lost another tooth earlier in the day, so she’s now missing her top two front teeth. Once she came back and said to me, “Dad, I hath sithteen poinths!”)

The first graders at St. P’s always put together a time capsule at the end of the year. They fill it with stuff from school, parents send items from home, and later this week the boxes will be sealed and sent home with instructions not to open until she graduates from high school. As with M., I wrote C. a short letter. I talk about the things she’s doing now, the people she hangs out with now, and wonder how much those will have changed over the next 11 years. And I describe the girl she is now a little.

I told C. that there is never any secret as to how she feels about things. When she’s happy, she’s HAPPY. When she’s sad, she’s SAD. She has yet to learn the meaning of poker face. If she tries to hide her emotions, she eventually dissolves into either giggles or tears. She is also a very good friend. I think girls love being around C.. I base that in part on how many playdates she gets invited to. It’s a little ridiculous. But I also think she’s just a fun kid and her full investment in every moment is contagious, and makes the people around her happy. She’s a genuinely sweet person and I really hope she keeps that quality as she gets older. For all of her frustrating moments of anger and sadness, she is generally a bright-eyed kid full of energy seeking the next moment of delight. Another thing I hope does not go away.

Friday is the annual bike parade and family picnic that wraps up the pre-school year. So, basically, everything needs to be wrapped up Thursday. ↩
If you’ve never had a Girl Scout, they go through a “bridging ceremony” when they move up to the next level. They literally walk across a bridge up on the school stage. The kids like it, so I will not mock. ↩
All the girls had the bumpers up, so keep that in mind. There would have been a lot of gutter balls without them. ↩