Happy Birthday, Gym Girl

Eleven years ago today, Gym Girl joined our family and forever changed our notion that we “knew about girls” after having had Swim Chick first. Gym Girl is our quiet, sensitive child. She is very caring toward others and has a huge heart. She’s also tough as nails and highly competitive: tell her something is difficult to do, and she’ll work tirelessly until she has mastered it.

It’s easy to tell that Gym Girl is growing up by the way she organized her birthday party. She decided to have it at the local laser tag place and then went with me to pick out party supplies. She coordinated the plates, napkins, and invitations and took care of rounding up her friends’ addresses and addressing the invitations. She also knew exactly what she wanted the cake to look like and described it to the bakery. She decided on one that looks like a wrapped present. It should be cute. So far, we’re expecting around six girls for the party and are waiting on RSVPs from four more.

While the official party is on Saturday, we’ve already begun the celebrating here in Suburbia. Gym Girl invited her best friend to come along with us to Shogun tonight. It’s her favorite restaurant and the one she typically chooses for special occasions. We had a fun chef who really played things up during the cooking portion, even if he did guess that Gym Girl was turning nine rather than eleven! It’s also really neat that the friend who went with us tonight has been Gym Girl’s best friend since they met in daycare at 18 months. It’s amazing to me that two girls who loved each other on sight when they were toddlers can still have so much in common and be so close almost ten years later.

In non-birthday news, Gym Girl is looking forward to starting sixth grade in two weeks. She goes to an “intermediate” school with grades five and six, so her class will be the oldest kids there this year. She’s decided to follow in Swim Chick’s footsteps and take orchestra, though she’ll be learning to play viola rather than cello. I actually tried to talk her into taking vocal music and P. E. (alternate days) because she has a nice voice and has taken voice lessons in the past. She wasn’t thrilled about the idea of P. E., not because she’s not good at it but because she spends two and a half hours per day in the gym. As she explained it to me, “Well, Mom, if I don’t start orchestra in 6th grade, I’ll be behind everyone else. If I don’t like it, I can take vocal music next year in 7th grade, and I won’t have to take it with P. E. then.” Uh, that makes sense. I hate it when they’re totally right!

Happy Birthday, Gym Girl. I’m looking forward to watching you continue to develop into a wonderful young woman.

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