My daughter turns eleven today.

Who is this skinny, smart, somewhat reasonable little girl?  She was six pounds once upon a time and never ate much (some things never change).  When she was fourteen months, she wore green sandals and was pink cheeked and happy and very busy.

I’ve noticed that my girl has grown quieter.  We can sit in the car from her bus stop to the Super Store and she’ll say nothing, just stare out the window.  When I ask if she is okay, she tells me she is just thinking.

About good stuff? I ask.

Yes, she tells me, good stuff.

Once, my brother came back inside after playing with the kids and I asked if my daughter had enjoyed it.  He looked at me and said:

“She enjoys everything she does.”

She is more hesitant now.  More world weary.  Relationships that hurt, too many long boring speeches delivered by a mother or father over time, pick things up, be nice to your brother.  She stays up later now and is tired each morning.

Eleven years ago I held her as she slept wrapped in a fuzzy pink blanket.  This morning, she eats and reads and will soon get dressed for school.

She has new white jeans.

Good stuff.

Happy birthday.

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