This delightful kid turned eleven yesterday.
Ali recorded her year much better than I did, so I thought we’d tell the story together.
January 2017: her tenth birthday, and when she finally allowed me to start calling her a tween.
Also, she made sure to record her little brother’s fairly impressive abilities.
February: She’s always up for a craft project of any kind. In fact, she may craft harder than anyone has ever crafted in the history of craftswomanship.
She also ran her third 5K (and began feeling eerily close to me in the height department.)
In her February writings, she took the time to express her lifelong displeasure in the Chick-Fil-A cow’s ability to spell. (She has long told me that she thinks it’s just awful that they teach little kids how to spell wrong. I did not know, until reading her diary, that she uses them as a scapegoat for her own spelling missteps. It’s fair.)
March: She’s always excited about any adventure and more willing than ever to take risks and try new things.
She also recorded this fairly quirky moment.
If you can’t end a story of inexplicable mouth bleeding with TTYL, are you really tweening?
April: She’s a model oldest cousin,
She’s cool enough for awesome sunglasses but not too cool to bury her Dad,
And she doesn’t believe in spoilers. Even in one’s personal diary.
May: Who needs water shoes to walk on a rocky riverbed? Not ten year olds.
Ali finished her Alabama History project with flourish,
Our last field trip involving standing under one of Alabama’s finest accomplishments.
She always loves reading,
And, when necessary to tell the story correctly, she believes in a good, solid illustration of crying and injured children.
(And, if you cannot properly see the injury due to scale of drawing, by all means show a magnification.)
June: She’s an angel. Especially when compared to her competition.
She’s still 100% committed to her literal lifelong best friend, AJ.
And she realized that she likes having a pictoral journal of herself, so is willing to pose for any picture, including holding a giant peach that most believe to actually be a giant peach-colored butt.
Also, ants are the worst, no matter what your age – mainly because it only takes 180 seconds to go from digging up sassafras roots to being the proud owner of a cluster of ant bites.
July: Ali decided she was going to become a woodcarver when she grew up, so Pop took her to get whittling tools (with which I managed to mortally wound myself but she uses still unscathed), and she began her career on soap, as one does.
…Which is less dangerous than her backup careers – snake charmer,
She also managed to record her brother’s most humiliating moment of the month,
Along with a total stranger’s:
August: She continued being a helpful cousin,
A helpful photographical muse,
And a helpful sister.
She also recorded her once-in-a-childhood opportunity to experience a partial eclipse (I know, I know – we should have driven up to the total eclipse. I still have regret.)
September: Ali started the Fifth Grade, which sounds super old.
Her excitement for adventures-in-the-woods went a bit manic like mine does every fall, which was quite convenient.
And, lucky for her father, her joy from football also grew twelve sizes. Except when she gets stung by mysterious creatures.
“But not all was good…”
She also realized The Way Things Are with Alabama Football.
October: Our multi-weekly hikes kept her a step ahead of her friends,
And she cracked the code to happiness.
The definition of happiness always includes “etc.”
She volunteered at Habitat for (Fairy) Humanity and built a house from the ground up,
She discovered the joy of coffee (when liberally creamered),
And she truly Became One With The Fall.
Also, her football commentary and illustration abilities became ESPN-Ready.
(Although when I read the lips of angry coaches and players, that’s not usually what they’re saying.)
She perfected the art of climbing a tree that clearly wanted to be climbed,
She got to make a fantastic December snowman,
And she helped me get kids to smile for Christmas photoshoots,
Including when that kid was just simply her brother.
Also, her nonchalant ability to move on after documenting illegal residents is a lesson to me in not sweating the small (and furry) stuff.
January 2018: Her basketball career is flourishing.
Our long bout of sub-freezing weather has fascinated her, making her eager for a daily adventure to experience this wild and wonderful Natural Ice.
She is and will continue to be my eager adventure partner,
Along with my equal-sharing partner in pants, socks, shirts, jackets, hairstyles, and very nearly height.
I, for one, am quite excited to see where the year of eleven takes us.