Determined. Spitfire. Kind. Fierce. Ambitious. Self-motivated. Affectionate. Driven. Silly. Fearless. Hilarious. Brilliant. Loyal. Mischievous.
Eleanor, my amazing eight year old, there are so many words to describe you and yet never quite enough words to convey the absolutely astounding human that you are. With every day that passes, I somehow find myself more proud of you, more impressed by you than I ever imagined possible.
I love the way you show kindness for everyone, humans and animals alike.
I love the way you have developed into such an incredible big sister, showering your younger siblings with patience and love.
I love the way you work so incredibly hard to achieve the things you want. I don’t think I’ve ever heard you say, “It’s too hard, I can’t do it.” Never have I seen you give up or quit when it became to difficult to achieve your end goal.
Eleanor you are filled with BIG ideas. I swear, sometimes I can practically see a lightbulb go on above your head. Then you’ll be a whirlwind of activity, scissors, paper, tape and pencils flying everywhere until you’ve brought to life whatever incredible thing you saw in your head. I wish I had a tenth of that ability, a fraction of your unrelenting confidence in your ability to produce whatever your imagination suggests.
Sometimes I look at you and wonder what the future holds for you. I can see you as an engineer: conceptualizing, designing, and bringing to life the most fantastic creations. I can see you as a veterinarian, doting on animals who need your love and affection. I can see you as a nurse, thinking quickly and anticipating your patients’ needs before they even ask. I can see you as so many iterations of the breathtaking person you are becoming every day. Your possibilities, Eleanor, are quite literally endless.
This past year has certainly been an interesting one. Second grade saw you positively blooming in a social sense, finding your group of friends that was thick as thieves. I loved seeing you come out of your shell, open up with others, and truly relish all the social interaction. Sadly, that came to a screeching halt in March with the arrival of coronavirus in Idaho. We have tried to find ways to keep you interacting with your friends, but I fear you are the one in our family who has been most affected by the isolation. My little social butterfly, you need friends the way I need rain: it’s just not quite possible to thrive without them.
Academically, I’m afraid much of second grade seems to have been a wash. Next week you will be tested for dyslexia and we’ll hopefully get some answers as to how best to help you. You’ll also begin private tutoring from a dyslexia specialist. My love, you are worth every penny and every minute. It won’t be an easy journey, but if ever there was a soul prepared to take on that challenge, it is you. I have unwavering confidence in you, Eleanor Annette.
Eleanor, may your next year be full of learning, of an expanding world as your reading ability grows. May it contain many more living room performances (your new microphone from Grandma and Grandpa ought to help with that!), many more bike rides (you positively light up like a sunshine every time you get to go outside), many more board games (you are so much like your daddy), and a million more smiles and laughs and hugs. Happy Birthday, my love.
I love you to the farthest star and back.