Our little monster is eight years old today. To celebrate her birthday, she’s bringing Munchkins to school and having a small slumber party. We plan to tire the girls out by taking them to dinner and a movie (“Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2”) before they wreak havoc in their pajamas.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that Sophie is eight. Because once I start down the precarious road called “contemplating the passage of time,” I project into the future and inevitably imagine the day, eight years hence, when she’ll be 16. Oh, the agita.
Chloe doesn’t provoke the same response in me – her personality hasn’t changed much since she started talking. Although the traits that she’s exhibited for the last decade may evolve a little bit, I don’t see any radical transformation in her future. Chloe knows who she is and stands by it.
Sophie is another story, however. It’s not that she’s mysterious – far from it. But she’s changeable, like a chameleon. Her mood swings are more extreme than Chloe’s, which is saying a lot because Chloe’s mood swings were pretty extreme when she was eight. Sophie’s likes and dislikes vary from day to day. Different colors, different songs, different stuffed animals (although she’s steady in her abiding love for Shirley, Bone-Bone, Uni and her tattered old burp cloths), different TV shows (her current flavor of the month is “Malcolm in the Middle”), different clothes, different arts & crafts, different friends…
I do believe that Sophie will always be sensitive and tender. I also think that she’ll continue to be impressionable, which makes me want to embrace her and never let her subscribe to a data plan. She’s not as independent as her older sister, which in some ways endears her even more to me. Sophie is happy to be a little kid in ways that Chloe never was, and I’m glad for that and I hope she doesn’t lose that magical quality for a very long time.
If yesterday was any indication, I think that we’ll be lucky enough to enjoy the Sophie magic for at least a little while longer. Sophie asked me if I thought the tooth fairy was human height or smaller. We had an extended conversation about it because Sophie confidently told me she saw the tooth fairy with her own two eyes one night not so long ago. And she believes the tooth fairy was about the length of two fingers. But she was perplexed. Because how can the tooth fairy have adult-sized handwriting (as evidenced by a note she left for Sophie) if she’s so small? Good question. And when I went to retrieve Sophie from a restaurant bathroom last night – it was her third time visiting the toilets in less than an hour and we were all curious – I found her with her hands covered in soap while she happily blew on the suds to make bubbles that floated in the air. These expressions of innocence and joy define her.
Happy birthday, my sweet Sophie. I love you so.