Lost in the rush of the weekend and baseball is the obligatory birthday post for L., who turned six on Friday.
She had a nice birthday. I’m not sure if it was a coincidence or if the teacher rigged the drawing but she was also the star student in class last week, which meant it was all about her all week and she got to bring treats in on Friday.
For her birthday dinner, she decided she wanted to have Chinese food, which was kind of awesome since we only have it once or twice a year. Not sure how that got in her head, but I liked it. We had the neighbors and a few relatives over to share dinner with us.
When gift time rolled around, she got a skateboard and a helmet from us, which is kind of a classic L. gift. An older girl in the neighborhood had let L. borrow a small board last month and she loved it. It will be interesting to see where this goes.
She also got a Batman Lego set and a remote control car that does tricks. She is so opposite of her sisters! Of course, she did ask for some Barbies, too, but I think that was just because M. and C. claim all the current ones are theirs and L. wanted a few to claim as her own when they are all playing.
L. had scored five goals in each of her first four soccer games this year. We were kind of hoping she would get six this week, to match her age. She came damn close. She shot two in from way outside early, then blasted three in during her final period of play. But she also hit the post twice and rolled a few outside the post.
She’s just a beast on the field. Not once this year has she not been the best player on the field. If she loses the ball, she charges back and takes it right back again. If she’s playing sweeper, she’ll stop the ball, dribble through traffic, and then get the ball to the goal. If a defender tries to take the ball from her, she calmly rotates her body to keep it between the defender and the ball. And now she’s knocking in shots from 20 feet away from the goal. Where a lot of her teammates and opponents are clueless, she’s always focused and in the game. She laughs and giggles like they do, but she makes sure to play hard at the same time. I think she’s ready to move up to U8 even though she’s still pretty small.
I wonder if other parents who have more than two kids feel this way, but L. always feels simultaneously older and younger than her actual age. Older, because through years of trying to keep up with her big sisters she has always done things quicker than they did. She was ready for kindergarten at four because she had watched the other two go off to school. She taught herself to read over the summer because they could read on their own. She mastered riding a bike four months after C. because she didn’t want to be left behind. She’s the best soccer player of the three because she watched the other two play and it all came naturally when it was her turn.
And then younger because she is the baby. I still pick her up and carry her around sometimes in ways I didn’t do with the other two at the same age simply because she is the smallest one left. We’ve always tolerated a certain level of neediness from her because she was the youngest, witness the first four years of her life when she almost always slept with a parent next to her.
We constantly have to remind ourselves of her true age. “Go easy on her, she’s just six!” Or, “L., you’re six. Stop doing that.”
M. is the classic big sister, bossy and controlling and always insistent on having the last word.
C. is the classic middle sibling, emotional and sensitive but probably the most caring and sweetest.
L. seems like the classic third kid. Fearless and eager to try new things from the experiences of watching the older siblings. Sometimes shockingly mature moments balanced by frustratingly normal moments when she is crying and I’m reminding myself of her actual age.
The most important thing, though, is that she’s a happy, healthy kid that is almost always smiling and excited about whatever is going on. She finds a way to make me laugh almost every day.
It’s hard to believe that she’s six.
On Friday that week’s star student gets to select the following week’s from a blind draw. I’m wondering if L.’s name was the only one in the bag. We’ll find out in two weeks when the next class birthday rolls around, I guess. ↩