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Friday, January 12, 2018

D'arcy and Julian had birthdays a long time ago.

It's January.  Julian turned eleven in October.  D'arcy turned thirteen in August.  And since then, I've had it on my to do list to write their birthday blogs.  I've had sick kids this week so I've slowed down.  I'm using the extra time to follow through with some things.


D'arcy is THIRTEEN.

This year has been a lot about new responsibilities and independence.  She ventured to Savannah with her art club and to camp with her brother.   She is a certified babysitter now (which means newfound freedom for Stephen and I).  D'arcy has entered the world of social media on Snapchat and Instagram.  She's in eighth grade in a K-8 school so her class has, after many years, earned their spot at the top.  There have been special trips made and she's been able to lead the school wide Community Meetings.

She's taller than me with a bigger shoe size.  We are shopping for her in the women's department.  She's experimenting with makeup.  Her hair is longer than it's ever been. 

She loves Hamilton and Unicorns and, recently, The Office.  I'm so proud.  Stephen and I took her to see Hamilton in Chicago as a birthday gift.  She started playing volleyball on her school team.  She still loves to create and cook and play music.  Julian brought home a Saxophone that D'arcy immediately began to learn.  She performed songs on her ukulele at our Christmas Cantata, the school talent show, a couple of women's retreats, and at my mom's gravesite.

She loves our dog, Georgia, and campaigned to get her own hamster to no avail.  We did let her babysit one, though.  And, also, some rats.

We worked together to make a decision about a high school for next year.

She's trying on adulthood to see how it fits.  It's still a little big for her, but, surprisingly, not by much.

Okay.  Now Julian.

Julian is eleven.

He loves to read.  Lord of the Rings.  Wonder.  Eragon.  Wings of Fire.  A Wrinkle in Time.  Harry Potter.  As he was reading the last book, he made a list of everyone who died.  He's a big fan of Stranger Things and video games and YouTube.  He played loads of Zelda this year.  He is interested in coding, robotics, and computers.  Legos are still pretty great, too.

He's a great student.  His teacher pushed for him to be reevaluated for high ability status.  At home, though, he can be as challenging as any of the other kids.

He's made some new friends this year.  He asked a girl to the dance.  He started making sure his hair looked good every morning, sweeping it to the side.

He likes to camp and went to camp.  He's challenging himself to appreciate adventure and heights.

This fall, we had a challenging situation arise in our neighborhood.  There have been accusations of child abuse against a neighbor.  Julian was asked to be interviewed by police.  He was not a victim, but the situation has been quite challenging and sad.  There is so much collateral damage to relationships and to innocence.  He has handled it with grace and maturity and empathy.  I feel like I've gotten a little glimpse of a man being formed.

These tween and young teenage years have proven to be really fun.  I'm don't need them to be small again.  There becoming more interesting by the minute.