On the last day of February, you turned eight years old, much to the chagrin and shock of your Mum. You'd think it wouldn't have been a surprise, and yet it was - how did you get so old?
The past year has seen you do a number of quite impressive things. You sailed through the end of one school and into the next (although there were a few blips along the way) with hardly a wobble. You have gone from a small, extrememely nurturing private school environment into a large, busy and chaotic state school with the rock steadiness that you have always had. Your ability to be certain and content in yourself is something I admire greatly, and I wish I had come to that point much earlier in life then I actually did (i.e. sometime in my twenties). You have always been there, and it is an amazing thing to see.
You have shot up like a weed - I can't believe that my adorable little cuddle bug is now this tall, gorgeous girl, but there you are. You're still a cuddle bug, thankfully, you just have more sharp corners and take up more space in the bed. And have developed a horrific predilection for Diary of a Wimpy Kid books, but that's another blog post...
One of the marvels being a parent to siblings is to see and acknowledge the differences between two children who have the same parents and have grown up in more-or-less the same environment. You and I had a talk last week about your sister's friends expecting you to behave in a certain way because, well, you're her sister and that's how she reacts. You were quite certain that you and Devil are very different, even though you look very much alike. I couldn't agree more. And I'm afraid this is going to be an ongoing challenge for you, particularly if the two of you continue in the same schools: everyone from peers to teachers to parents are going to think they know what they're getting when you come along, simply by virtue of you being D's younger sibling. It's further complicated by the fact that you are both girls - if one of you had been a boy, that expectation might be tempered a bit - but I am confident that you will have absolutely no problems setting people straight as to your existence as a completely independent entity.
Watching you do math warms my geeky heart to its very cockles: in your ability to recognize patterns seemingly without effort, I see something of myself, and it is further evidence (in my mind at least) of the wonder of genetics. I may be a neuroscientist, but my expertise runs to the cellular and molecular rather then cognitive systems. The fact that I can see in you traits that your father and I have is an ongoing revelation. And it is a window on to myself that is hard to escape.
Thank you for who you are and what you bring to my life. You are my sunshine, Sunshine.