Maggie turns eleven tomorrow. She is all long legs, quick temper, and thoughtful card maker. A dream combination. She is quick to scream at Schroeder, but she won’t neglect making him a birthday card. At Christmas, she proposed that the siblings draw names and make each other a gift. Most of her siblings were resistant. D’arcy said, “This idea will NOT bring me joy.” Maggie sewed a little purple felt stuffy for Schroeder well in advance. D’arcy drew Maggie in her Pickle (a stuffed dinosaur) Halloween costume.
Maggie chose aviator style reading glasses that make her look like Gloria Steinem in all her feminist glory. She doesn’t know who Gloria is, but she knows she looks good. She is deeply committed to curating her look. She often braids her hair wet to get a solid wave after two days. Her braces have come off...for now.
In the spring, I asked her if she wanted to play soccer. After a year of being secluded due to Covid, I was ready to get the kids outside around their peers. “No.” She told me she “wasn’t a sporty girl”. And, yet, this fall, she decided to play volleyball.
She worked her way through watching “Boy Meets World”, one of my faves when I was her age, and has moved on to watching “Grownish” and “Blackish”. She is definitely ready to be grownish. She is coding and playing piano and listening to musicals on repeat. Maggie is passionate about LGBTQ+ rights and committed to wearing a rainbow necklace and bracelet throughout Pride month.
She attended a sleep away camp for the first time this summer. Twice actually. She went once with her siblings and cousins and then attended a different camp with her friend, August. At the second camp, I dropped her off and dumped all my friend baggage on her. “Give your friend space. Don’t talk her ear off the whole time. Read the room. Be open to making other friends and taking space apart during the week.”
For her birthday, she wanted to take a group of friends to Color Me Mine, a pottery painting studio. We have a van full of kids heading up there tomorrow. She asked for art supplies, fidgets, and mascara for her birthday. She’s been going to my bathroom for a month to use my mascara. I find myself squinting, trying to remember how old her sister was when she did such things. They are just far enough apart that I seem to have forgotten.