If Penelope is nine going on nine, Maggie is twelve going on twenty.
She shared her birthday with my dad's wedding. She wasn't bothered, just excited to dress up and eat good food. We found her an extra small dress from the Juniors department. She fixed her hair and makeup and kept mentioning how grown up she felt.
Maggie declared that she wasn't a "sports girl" this summer. Instead, she is artistic and musical. She plays piano and, inspired by Lizzo, started learning the flute. Her desk is always covered in dry paint. Still, she decided to join volleyball this fall. Maybe she's learning she doesn't have to define herself so rigidly, that she can always choose to learn and play a sport if the urge strikes.
She uses words like "aesthetic" and "facts". She reads tween novels especially those with LGBTQ themes, and proudly displays her pride flags in her room. She enthusiastically utilizes Pinterest boards. She sent me one for her birthday, in fact. She had pinned all the presents she wanted; bath and body works soaps, a tortilla blanket, delicate beaded jewelry. '
A couple of months ago, she messaged me on Facebook messenger asking if she could start shaving her legs. When I didn't notice the message for a few days, she left me a sticky not by my bed asking me to check messenger. My response was sure, go ahead and start a task that will never, ever be done or done well. There will always be that pesky spot on your knee, ankle, or on the back of your calf that you missed.
Our school district has just put out a plan to move and merge her K-8 school. The transition with have her at four buildings in four years. She will tentatively spend her eighth grade year at the middle school just blocks from our home, within easy walking distance. She already has plans that her and her friends will cross the street to the Dairy Queen at least once a month for a treat.
I joke that if there is an argument in our house between siblings, there's a 99% chance that she is involved. I appreciate that she has quick access to her emotions and words.
This weekend, a friend was sharing that she had a first date but was tired of the same old first date questions. Maggie pulled out her sticky notes that she keeps in her purse in case she needs to draw and began creating some new questions. What kind of grapes do you like, green or red? Who would you say is your best friend? She advised our friend that if he says "my mom", you should walk the other way. Maggies said, "You never want a guy who will choose his mother over you." Her book of dating advise and questions will be out next year...when she's thirteen.