Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Dear Lily Kates,

This summer we'll celebrate your 12th birthday. Twelve is a major milestone year because at thirteen you're a full fledged teenager. That hardly seems possible because you are still so sweet and only occasionally roll your eyes at me or act all teenagerly. I guess you could say this year is both an ending and a beginning, but then aren't they all?

I was on my way to pick you up from school this afternoon. My phone dinged when I was one minute late. I didn't look at the text...didn't have to. I knew it said: R you coming Mom? I pulled in 30 seconds later and yes, a little late. Tardiness you can blame on your brother. We had plans to shop for shoes. You are pretty much down to last years's pair of Reefs, a well-worn pair of tennis shoes, a pair of Vans and a pair of cleats. I inquired whether you wouldn't like a pair of Birkenstocks the the other day and your eyes lit up. I am and have been a Birk girl, and when you still could, you would slip a pair of mine on. You're now a 39 and I'm a 37 so that's no longer feasible. I told you I'd rather buy you a single pair of good shoes than five pairs of cheap ones so shopping we went.

As we browsed, you shared that so and so has this pair and so and so has that pair. You were drawn to a safe pair of black leather Arizonas at first, but you ended up with exactly the shoes I knew you really wanted. You were being practical and I wasn't about to have it because I was you so many years ago. I ended up picking out a winter coat I didn't particularly like because it was on sale even when my Dad said I could have any coat I wanted. It's our nature.

You thanked me numerous times for your new shoes and weren't the least bit phased when I suggested you put a little hard earned skin in the game. I couldn't resist telling you that I never owned a pair of $100 shoes at your age. You were both annoyed and grateful.

After the shoe store we made a pit stop at Winkies to pick out a birthday gift for your friend's party this weekend. You asked her what she wanted today and she told you so we sorta had to pony up. You decided on a calligraphy kit because it was something you would like to receive and it didn't look cheap. For the record, it also wasn't cheap, but your assessment made me chuckle. I let you pay for the candy you wanted to include and you didn't balk at the suggestion or put the loot back. Thoughtful generosity pretty much sums you up.

Tomorrow you have your first soft ball game of the year...your first fast pitch game ever. The funny thing is that it's not with your team, but another team that has requested your support. You were honored and excited to receive such a vote of confidence, and I'm so proud of that attitude. I'm looking forward to seeing you in action tomorrow night. You got this Wegehaupt and I know you know it.

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